A large forest fire that broke out in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam, at noon today (8th) is spreading with strong winds. The forest authorities raised the wildfire response level to level 3 and entered the nighttime extinguishing regime. Let's go to the field.

Seungyeon Hong, what's the current wildfire situation?


Yes, I'm at the scene of the Hapcheon forest fire in Gyeongnam.

It's getting dark, but as you can see behind me, flames are rising from the ridge with faint smoke.

An unexplained forest fire broke out here in Yongju-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam, around 2 p.m. today.

As the flames spread rapidly with strong winds of 12 metres per second, forest authorities raised the level of response to the wildfire to level 5 from 30:3 p.m.

Phase 3 of the response is issued when the area affected by the forest fire exceeds 100 ha, and this is the first time that Phase 3 has been issued this year.

When the fire broke out, more than 80 nearby residents were evacuated to the community center.

The forest authorities have deployed 19 firefighting helicopters, 37 pieces of equipment and 477 firefighting crews to fight the fire.

Also, as it gets dark, we are deploying aerial fire extinguishing teams, special fire extinguishing teams, and firefighting personnel to build a defense network to prevent the flames from spreading near private houses.

The dry weather and strong winds caused wildfires across the country today.

Four of them have been completed, and the forest fires in Hapcheon, South Jeolla and Buyeo in South Chungcheong are still extinguishing.

The government has designated the period from the 4th of this month to the end of next month as the "Special Measures Period for Forest Fires" and has upgraded the forest fire warning level from caution to "alert," and plans to strengthen the crackdown on illegal incineration, which is the main cause of forest fires, and take strict measures against violators in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.