Dryness, sudden winds factors in deadly China forest fire

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In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, forest fire burn near residential buildings in Xichang, in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Nineteen people have died while fighting a raging forest fire in southwestern China and hundreds of reinforcements were sent to fight the blaze and evacuate nearby residents, officials and state media reported Tuesday. (Liu Mingke/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING — Chinese officials say dry conditions, high temperatures and a sudden change in wind direction all contributed to the deaths of 19 people in a forest fire in mountainous southwestern China.

The official Xinhua News Agency said late Tuesday that thousands of firefighters were still battling the blaze near the city of Xichng in Sichuan province.

Another three people were in stable condition after going missing with the 18 firefighters and their guide whose bodies were later found.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, firefighters put out a forest fire in Xichang, in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Nineteen people have died while fighting a raging forest fire in southwestern China and hundreds of reinforcements were sent to fight the blaze and evacuate nearby residents, officials and state media reported Tuesday. (Li Jieyi/Xinhua via AP)

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