7,000 Chinese firefighters combat forest blaze

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More than 7,200 firefighters are battling a huge forest fire spotted on Saturday afternoon in northeastern China.

State-run television in the country is reporting that the situation remains very severe because of the hot weather.

The fire was spotted in the Greater Hinggan Mountains in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

It then spread to neighbouring Heilongjiang Province about two hours later, according to officials.

The region's rainfall from June 22-26 was 42 to 100 per cent less than that of the same period last year.

Temperatures in the region have also soared to three to eight degrees centigrade higher than normal, according to the Inner Mongolian Meteorological Bureau.