China Daily (Canada) - - TIBET -

Hun­dreds of kilo­me­ters (km) away in the eastern Ti­bet au­tonomous re­gion, the Diqing Ti­betan au­tonomous pre­fec­ture has been stand­ing as an eco­log­i­cal bar­rier to the plateau. Forestry po­lice have over­come dif­fi­cul­ties in the moun­tain­ous area in fire con­trol to save the forests and the wildlife.

The multi-eth­nic pre­fec­ture of Diqing also main­tains the tra­di­tion that peo­ple sweep the tombs of their de­ceased fam­ily mem­bers. In April or May, peo­ple burn pa­pers to pay homage to the dead that of­ten cause flares near the forests. Be­cause most trees still have dried leaves, it can ac­cel­er­ate a fire if one oc­curs.

Bao Cong­fang, po­lit­i­cal ad­vi­sor of the Diqing Forestry Po­lice, said the ar­du­ous task of fight­ing to save forests that have a fire means each po­lice­man must have at least 30 kilo­grams of equip­ment and food and wa­ter.

“Dur­ing high fre­quen­cies of flames, the air flow in be­tween moun­tains is also ex­tremely tur­bu­lent and can in­crease the risks of us­ing he­li­copters to con­trol the fire. There­fore, our po­lice must pump the wa­ter and spray ex­tin­guish­ing agents man­u­ally, and will only snap for five hours a week in case of in­fer­nos,” Bao said. “Some would fall asleep when they leaned on the wooden sticks that helped them in fire­fight­ing.”

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