Lishan forest fire brought under control

Photo courtesy of the Dongshih Forest District Office
Photo courtesy of the Dongshih Forest District Office

TAIPEI (CNA) — A forest fire that broke out in the mountainous area of Lishan in Taichung City, central Taiwan, on Sunday has been brought under control as of 4 p.m. Monday, according to the Dongshih Forest District Office.

An estimated three hectares of forest land in Lishan was burned in the fire and efforts on managing residual flame are still ongoing, according to the office.

The fire was raging in an area of Chiayang forest about 1,600 meters above sea level, which is home to indigenous people and several animal species, including the Formosan Reeve’s muntjac, which resembles a deer, as well as monkeys and birds.

The area is under the Dongshih Forest District Office’s jurisdiction.

After the office’s Lishan work station received a report of the fire on Sunday, 73 firefighters were deployed to the affected forest area, while two Black Hawk firefighting helicopters from the National Airborne Service Corps also joined the battle to put out the blaze, making at least 68 trips to bring tonnes of water from Techi Reservoir to the scene of the fire, according to the office.

The firefighters on the ground encountered some problems of access because of the steep cliffs in the area and limited water supply, the office said.

However, with joint firefighting efforts on the ground and in the air, the fire was eventually brought under control, it said.

During October to April, the area is vulnerable to wildfires, due to strong winds and dry weather, the office noted.

From 2018 to 2019, 25 fires broke out in areas under the office’s jurisdiction, it said, adding that it usually takes about two to three days to put out the blazes.