thern outskirts of Beijing around noon Saturday, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The blaze started on a mountain in Miyun District at around 12:23 pm and spread to Pinggu District at about 1 pm due to strong winds.

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China’s manufacturing sector came in at 50.5 in Ma

rch, up from 49.2 in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Sunday.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe attributed the monthly increase in the manufacturing PMI to accelerated produ

ction activities and improved domestic demand boosted by government supporting policies, including tax and fee cuts.

Emergency response was activated immediately after the fire broke out, and th

e fire in Miyun was largely put out Saturday afternoon, with no casualties reported.

A preliminary investigation by local police shows the fire was caused by six villagers repairing water pipes in the forest.

Local government took immediate action under its emerg

ency response mechanism and the six suspects are under control now.

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