Wildfires burn 521 ha of woodland near inter-Korean border
SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- A forest fire charred mountain areas the size of 730 soccer fields in a northeastern town close to the inter-Korean border for two days, firefighting officials said Monday.
The fire occurred in Yanggu, 175 kilometers northeast of Seoul and about 20 km south of the border with North Korea, Sunday afternoon and spread rapidly due to strong winds, burning an estimated 5.21 million square meters (521 hectares) until Monday morning, the officials said.
No casualties have been reported so far as authorities have mobilized all possible resources, including 27 helicopters and about 1,300 personnel, to protect private houses and facilities, including Buddhist temples, from the raging fires.
A dry weather advisory is currently in effect across the northeastern mountain province of Gangwon, to which Yanggu belongs.
"The recent dry weather has led to frequent wildfires. Residents should be careful as strong winds can result in large-scale wildfires," a weather official in Gangwon said.
In the North Gyeongsang Province town of Gunwi, just north of Daegu, a wildfire has also scorched 163 hectares for two days until Monday morning, regional officials said.
Authorities mobilized 37 helicopters and 622 personnel to fight the Gunwi wildfire from 6 a.m. Monday, they said, adding there have been no reports of casualties or damage to houses or other buildings. Gunwi and nearby areas have also been put under the dry weather advisory.
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