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Wildfire in eastern S. Korea still not under control as firefighters contend with bad weather Updated: 2022-03-07 17:12:07 KST

South Korea's biggest wildfire in 22 years has been burning now for four days, destroying thousands of hectares of woodland.
Thousands of firefighters, troops and civil servants are doing their best to put it out, but they're contending with strong winds, dry weather and thick fog.
For more, our Eum Ji-young is on the line.
Ji-young, what's the latest?

Connyoung, Uljin County, where the fire started on Friday, is covered by white smoke and an acrid smell.
As of 6 AM on Monday, they say it's estimated to have burned around 16-thousand hectares of woodland, an area about a quarter of the size of Seoul.
The authorities said its size means it's unlikely to be completely put out today, but they said they will do everything possible to contain the main fires by tomorrow morning.
Nearly 60 helicopters were deployed on Monday to fight the fire, but strong winds are stopping them from getting close enough.
Some 5,5-hundred firefighters and even local residents have been working as hard as they can for hours on end.
The military has also deployed more than 23-hundred servicemen and more than 20 helicopters.
The weather, though, has prevented them from getting the main fire under control, which is causing concern among the people who live in the area.

(KOREAN- ) YTN 2022 03 07 15 53 ed: devin
"In some of the places where the fire had been contained, it re-ignited this morning. The fog that started in one place isn't just staying there but has spread everywhere."
[ / : . ….]

The wildfire near the country's east coast has been spreadng from two separate starting points.
It started in Uljin city, and then stretched out to the neighboring city of Samcheok and to Yongwol County, which are about midway up the east coast.
Another wildfire has been spreading in the cities of Donghae and Gangneung, which are located north of Uljin County.

No casualties have benn reported, Ji-young, but the fire has forced thousands of people to flee their homes over the weekend, and it's damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings.

That's right, Connyoung. Many homes and buildings in the affected regions have been burned to the point they're unrecognizable.
More than 7-thousand people had to evacuate over the weekend.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters says the fire has destroyed at least 510 facilities as of Monday, including around 340 homes.
In Uljin County, nearly 600 residents are still staying at emergency shelters and spending sleepless nights hoping the fire can be contained.
Government officials are investigating how the wildfire started, and they suspect it may have been from a cigarette.
The police and the forest authorities are working to identify suspects seen at the point where it started.
This is all I have for now but I'll bring more updates in our later newscast.
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