[Newsmaker] Hiker killed as wildfires ravage eastern areas

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 7, 2017 - 13:58
  • Updated : May 7, 2017 - 17:26
The wildfires in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, and Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province, have mostly been extinguished, the authorities said on Sunday. The fire in Samcheok, Gangwon Province, however, remains out of control.

The Gangwon Province fires broke out on Saturday, and are thought to have been caused accidentally by hikers. The Sangju incident, also began on Saturday, occurred when a flames from garbage being incinerated at an orchard spread to nearby forest. The Sangju fire has left a 58-year old hiker dead, and two others injured. The fire has also claimed 13 hectares of privately owned forestland. 

According to the Korea Forest service, the Gangneung fire has mostly been extinguished as of 10:30 a.m., and firefighters are dealing with smaller fires. The fire has claimed 50 hectares of land and 30 houses, rendering about 311 people homeless.

The firefighting operation in Samcheok is said to be hindered by the rocky landscape. So far 80 hectares of forest has been destroyed by the fire, and about 30 people have been evacuated.

The authorities said that the personnel and equipment deployed in Gangneung will be redirected to Samcheok once the situation is fully under control. No fatalities have been reported in either Gangwon Province fires.

By Choi He-suk (