Forest fires break out across South Korea

Seoul, Apr 2 (IANS): Forest fires broke out across South Korea on Sunday due to dry and windy weather in spring, a media report said.

According to the KFS real-time forest fire information website, a total of 30 forest fires broke out across the country at 3:30 p.m. local time (0630 GMT), Yonhap News Agency reported.

Among the total, 15 fires had been extinguished. The government issued a special dry weather warning.

A relatively large fire occurred at 11:53 a.m. local time (0253 GMT) on Mount Inwang in Seoul, a mountain near the previous location of the country's presidential office, Xinhua News Agency reported quoting the KFS.

The firefighting authorities had tried to bring it under control for over three hours, mobilising hundreds of officials, nine helicopters and other equipment.

No casualty had been reported yet, but residents of about 120 households had been evacuated.

The wildfire destroyed some 0.23 square km forest land, or the size of 32 soccer fields.

Another large forest fire broke out at 11:00 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) from a mountain in Hongseong, around 110 km south of Seoul.

The blaze spread to nearby private houses, but no casualty had been reported.

It burned some 200 hectares of forest, destroying six private houses, one livestock farm and one grain warehouse.

The fire authorities dispatched 17 helicopters and over 1,600 officials to put it out, but only 30 per cent of the blaze was extinguished at 4:00 p.m. local time (0700 GMT).



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