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Air rescue relieves China from forest fires during Spring Festival

Updated: Feb 19,2019 1:38 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Emergency air rescue has played a key role in relieving southern China from frequent forest fires during the Spring Festival, according to the emergency management authorities on Feb 18.

During the week-long Spring Festival holidays from Feb 4 to 10, helicopters were dispatched 91 times to fight forest fires in southern China, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

In a total of 170 flight hours, they carried 735 tons of water with hanging buckets to fight eight forest fires with a total range of 25,000 kilometers.

The Spring Festival has been a key time for forest fire control in southern China due to the warmer weather and more frequent outdoor fire use during the holiday, especially during tomb sweeping and when setting off fireworks.

Emergency air rescue is playing a more important role in fighting forest fires in China, especially in southern regions with high-altitude mountains or rough terrain.

Aerial extinguishing teams take firefighters, equipment and water closer to the sites with fire fighting helicopters, allowing them to control the fire more quickly.

China is making efforts to strengthen emergency air rescue capabilities by introducing new equipment, cultivating professionals and improving infrastructure, according to Ministry of Emergency Management.