HUZHONG, Heilongjiang, June 30 (Xinhua) -- More than 20,000 firemen are battling lighting-triggered forest fires in north China as continuous hot weather undermines their efforts, forest fire prevention authorities said.
The fire spotted Saturday continued to spread Wednesday due to high temperatures after having weakened overnight, Sun Zhagen, deputy director of China's National Forest Fire Prevention Headquarters, said.
The forest fire in the Greater Hinggan Mountains in Heilongjiang Province.
More fire fighters and equipment will be sent to control the fire, Sun said.
"As it is too hot to get close to the scene to put out the fire, we have to build fire barriers during the day and battle the blaze at night," said Pang Zhiqiang, a forest policeman.
Temperatures in the Greater Hinggan Mountains Region have been over 37 degrees Celsius recently and seven counties and districts have witnessed record-high temperatures.
Temperatures in Huzhong District hit 39.7 degrees Celsius Saturday, said Na Jihai, the provincial meteorological bureau's chief.
Precipitation from winter to spring was 45 percent lower average, Na said.
Two helicopters were dispatched to conduct artificial precipitation operations but failed.
The dry and hot weather will continue for the next three days, according to the National Meteorological Center of China Meteorological Administration.
"This is a battle between human beings and nature. We have to work hard to win," Sun said.