CHENGDU, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Thick smoke enveloped a city in southwest China's Sichuan Province after forest fires broke out Monday afternoon, local firefighting brigade said.
The fire started on a local farm at 3:51 p.m. and quickly spread to nearby mountains due to strong winds, according to the information office of the city of Xichang.
Over 300 professional firefighters and another 700 militiamen were sent to the rescue. An emergency evacuation was initiated. No casualties have been reported.
Another 885 firefighters from other cities in the province have been dispatched along with 142 fire engines, six remote water supply systems and extensive firefighting equipment to Xichang.
Besides assisting evacuation, forces have also been deployed to protect key places and areas. Drones have also been used to monitor the development of the fire.