Zone of Peace
Fire engulfing virgin forest in Tibet (Xinhua)
Friday March 16, 09:22 AM
Qamdo (Tibet), March 16 (Xinhua) Almost a thousand fire fighters are struggling to control a high-altitude blaze that has been spreading through virgin forest in Tibet Autonomous Region since Tuesday.
The fire started in Konjo county of Qamdo prefecture in eastern Tibet Tuesday night, and a 100-strong team arrived at the scene after the local police received a call, said Shi Ruifa, a local police officer.
'Nearly a thousand police and local residents have joined the fire fighting operation, but the fire is still spreading,' Shi said.
But, the operation has been hampered by the 4,900 meter altitude and winds exceeding 60 km per hour, Shi said.
A second 100-strong team was travelling to the site, Shi said.
The area hit by fire was hard to estimate and the cause was under investigation, Shi said.
Drought and strong winds had affected Konjo country since February and the daytime temperature had exceeded 22 degrees Celsius, Shi said.
Konjo country has 142 hectares of primary forest, the second largest forest area in Tibet.
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