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Beijing to Reinforce Forest Fire Monitoring for Olympics

Beijing will strengthen forest fire prevention by building more monitoring facilities to ensure a safe environment for the Olympic Games next year.

The city plans to set up nine monitoring sites equipped with video surveillance technologies, 88 watchtowers and five meteorological stations in 2008 to provide information and immediate reports of forest fire risks.

The scheme has been approved by the State Forestry Administration and construction will start soon.

Beijing is expected to experience high temperatures and less precipitation this winter and next spring, which could increase fire risks.

At present, 94 firefighting teams, 123 watchtowers and 43 video monitoring facilities are working to ensure the safety of more than 500,000 square kilometers of forest in Beijing.

Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu have ordered improvements in forest fire prevention methods and fire fighting capabilities.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2007)

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