*** 1997 worst year ever for forest fires, WWF says

More tropical forest burned down around the world in 1997 than at any

other time in recorded history, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

said Tuesday. At least 12.4 million acres of forest and other land

burned in Indonesia and Brazil alone and vast areas of Papua New

Guinea, Colombia, Peru, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Congo and other

parts of Africa were similarly incinerated. Huge forest fires also

raged in Australia, China and Russia, as well as many Mediterranean

countries. The WWF urged the world community to improve safety

measures and to clamp down on forest mismanagement and illegal

logging. See

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