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(LEAD) Forest fire spreading on strong winds in Goseong

All News 23:20 May 01, 2020

(ATTN: MODIFIES lead; UPDATES with more information in paras 6-7)

SEOUL, May 1 (Yonhap) -- A fire broke out late Friday near a mountain in Goseong, Gangwon Province, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate and local authorities to call for help from nearby cities.

No casualty had been reported as of 10:20 p.m., but the fire was growing quickly due to strong winds, local rescue workers said.

The fire began at a house in the county located some 210 kilometers northeast of Seoul, and later spread to a nearby forest on gusts of wind.

A special warning for strong wind was issued earlier in the day in the region.

Local authorities have issued a level-2 warning, which enables them to call in support, including firefighters, from other areas.

Chin Young, minister of the interior and safety, has ordered the mobilization of all available resources, while also calling for all-out efforts to prevent any casualty.

Some 400 residents have been evacuated to an elementary school in Goseong, according to government officials.

Goseong was the site of a catastrophic forest fire about a year earlier that also spread on strong gusts.

The 2019 inferno destroyed more than 1,300 buildings, including 400 homes, while killing one person.

A fire burns through a forest in Goseong, 210 kilometers northeast of Seoul in Gangwon Province, on May 1, 2020. (Yonhap)


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