Fires are too much, this locality now sells lighters only to people over 18

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2021-03-31 10:32:58

Authorities in the Mianning district of Liangshan, Sichuan province, China have implemented what is arguably the country’s most stringent fire prevention policy ever, in the context of face an alarmingly high fire risk. It is restricting the purchase of matches and lighters for adults with valid identification.

In a statement released on March 28, the forest fire prevention agency in Mien Ninh district outlined new rules for the sale of flammable products during the “forest and grassland prevention period”, lasting from January 1 to June 30 every year.

According to the announcement, anyone under the age of 18 will not be allowed to purchase such fire-generating products anywhere in the county. Those who want to buy must be 18 years or older and present ID card to the seller, and only buy one item at a time. The announcement also encourages locals to deliver their old lighters in exchange for new ones, although the announcement does not clearly state whether such exchanges are free or discounted.

Mien Ninh district is located in the autonomous Chau Di Luong Son ethnic group of Sichuan province, where forest fires are frequent in recent years. According to China’s forest fire prevention plan, 12 counties and cities here, including the Mianning district, have been listed as “national level forest fire risk counties”.

Scary images of a fire in 2020 that left 19 people dead in China.

In late March 2019, a forest fire broke out near Xichang, a city in Liangshan, resulting in the deaths of 30 firefighters and civilians. A year later, a forest fire in the same area killed 19 people and destroyed about 1,000 acres. More than 2,000 firefighters have been dispatched to try to put out the fire.

And according to the red alert issued by the authorities, the conditions will be ripe for the wildfires to come on April 7, due to rising temperatures and low humidity. At least 97% of all forest and grassland fires that occurred between 2010 and 2019 were caused by human activities, such as smoking or slash-and-burn, according to the country’s emergency affairs ministry. The 2020 fire stems from villagers burning firewood outside their homes for cooking.

However, according to local reporters, supermarkets in Mien Ninh have not fully enforced the rules of requiring a personal ID when selling lighters and matches.

Wang Qiuhua, a professor specializing in forest fire and ecology management at Southwest Forestry University, said the aforementioned rules are only “Treats symptoms but not the root cause”Because imposing rules about who can buy lighters is not much of a help in stopping people who are determined to burn something by all means.

“Instead of placing restrictions on sales, local authorities should focus on strengthening implementation of existing policies to prevent forest fires,” said Wang.

Refer Sixthtone

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