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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Fire rekindled in virgin forest in Tibet

March 6, 2008

NYINGCHI, Tibet, March 6 (Xinhua) -- A major fire was rekindled
Thursday by gusts of wind and high temperatures at a forest area in
the southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region, local officials said.

Firefighters, police and soldiers were able to bring the blazes, which
broke out in the Nyingchi Prefecture on Sunday, under control on
Wednesday, but strong wind and warm weather rekindled the smothered
fire, said Zhoigar, a top government official in Nyingchi.

The fire had left a four kilometer burnt streak in the mountains, but
no casualties were reported so far, he said.

More than 2,000 People's Liberation Army forces and 400 armed police
stationed in the local area are fighting the fire, said Lan Titang,
director of the firefighting headquarters and deputy political
commissar of the local army forces.

Lan said it had been difficult to hold down the blazes as there were
multiple blazing spots scattered across high and steep mountains.

An investigation is underway to determine the damage and cause of the
blaze in the forest that covers more than 53,900 square kilometers.

Local government had evacuated more than 300 people from a village
less than two kilometers from the fire site at the foot of the
mountains.

Nyingchi, about 400 kilometers from the Tibetan capital Lhasa, is
covered by dense forests which makes up more than 46 percent of the
area.
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