How the fire spread

Firefighters from three cities battled a massive blaze on Monday morning that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in the South China Sea region.

Officials said it started on the island of Hainan, in the far west of the country, but spread to three nearby islands, which are known as the Spratly Islands.

The fires have since burned through most of the area and forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

“We had to evacuate more than 3,000 people because we were not prepared for this situation,” one resident told local media.

Authorities are now trying to identify the source of the fire and are investigating who started the blaze.

Hainan was not hit by the fire itself, but by a neighboring fire, which forced authorities to evacuate the neighboring island, which is also the scene of another nearby fire.

It took firefighters more than three hours to control the flames on the nearby island, but they have managed to bring it under control, according to local media reports.

A Reuters news agency report said fire crews were able to extinguish the two other fires.

One of the fires is believed to be on the islands of Spratlys in the Sprato Sea.

The other, called the Paracel Fire, was reported to be raging in the sea off Hainans capital, Hainanquan.

There is no immediate indication that the fires have spread beyond Hainaan, although they have been active on the other islands.

The fires are believed to have been started by a wildfire on a small island in the area.

The islands have been a popular destination for Chinese tourists and locals.