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SW forest fire covers 15 hectares, hard to control

The devastating forest fire causing 30 deaths in southwest China's Sichuan Province has not been contained as of 5 p.m. Monday, according to the local emergency management authority.

The fire broke out at about 6 p.m. Saturday in the mountains in southwestern Sichuan Province at an altitude over 3,700 meters and strong winds blew in several directions, said Zhou Tong, an official with local emergency management department.

The fire has burnt around 15 hectares of forest. The complex terrain, thick forest layer and difficulties in getting water to the mountains have impeded the fire fighting, Zhou said.

According to preliminary analysis, the fire was possibly caused by thunder.

Thirty people, including 27 firefighters and three locals, have been confirmed as having died when fighting the fire.

A flashover likely occurred so abruptly that the firefighters could not escape, Zhou said.

"Local governments have exerted all-out efforts to put out the fire," Zhou said, adding that the number of firefighters dispatched amounted to over 700 at peak time.

Identification of the bodies is also underway.

Source:Xinhua  Editor:Lucky

(Source_title:SW forest fire covers 15 hectares, hard to control)