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China issues emergency response for forest fires

BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The State Headquarters for Forest Fire Control on Friday issued a fourth-level emergency response plan to cope with the raging forest fires in the country's south and southwest regions.

A total of 46 forest fires occurred in five provincial-level regions of China, including Hunan, Jiangxi and Guangdong Provinces, where lasting drought and high temperatures have left large amounts of flammable debris in forested areas.

The 46 forest fires have killed at least five people and injured seven, with 19 forest fires still raging as of 9 a.m. on Friday, according to the headquarters.

The headquarters urged all related sectors to make all efforts to put out the fires as soon as possible to save lives and reduce losses.

Authorities should step up monitoring systems, report severe forest fires immediately, and strengthen coordination to ensure the safety of people and forests, it added.

China has four levels of emergency response plans for forest fires with the first-level plan being the most serious.

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