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Main fire of east coast wildfires extinguished: KFS

Firetrucks are on standby near a mountain in Samcheok, Gangwon Province, to be deployed to put out massive wildfires on the east coast amid rainy weather on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Firetrucks are on standby near a mountain in Samcheok, Gangwon Province, to be deployed to put out massive wildfires on the east coast amid rainy weather on Sunday. (Yonhap)
ULJIN -- The main fire of massive wildfires in the eastern coastal areas has been put out after more than 213 hours since the blaze started more than eight days ago, the Korea Forest Service said Sunday.

Choi Byeong-am, head of the Korea Forest Service (KFS), said although the main fire has been extinguished, firefighters are still working to put out the remaining fires.

The blaze started in the east coastal town of Uljin on March 4, about 330 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and became the country's most devastating on record as it spread to nearby areas in Gangwon Province.

It took 213 hours and 43 minutes to put out the main fire, the longest time ever to extinguish such a blaze since related data was first compiled in 1986. The previous record was 191 hours for wildfires in Gangwon Province in 2000.

No casualties have been reported, but 643 facilities, including 319 homes, have been reported to have been damaged from the wildfires in the Uljin and Samcheok area.

Choi said an estimated 20,923 hectares of woodland have been scorched, with the city of Uljin suffering the most with 18,463 hectares. (Yonhap)
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