top of page
  • 작성자 사진Park Se-jeong

[Issue] Biggest, Longest Fire Struck East Coast of Korea

Apr 18, 2022 / No. 157

On March 4, 2022, a forest fire broke out in Ducheon-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, and Gyeongsangbuk-do. Extinguished after 213 hours and 43 minutes, it is the longest forest fire ever to be recorded in Korea. The area affected by the fire spanned 2,923 ha (about 30,000 soccer fields), making it the largest forest fire as well. The exact area of damage will be determined through a close investigation afterward.

The fire started from Uljin-gun, affecting four towns and villages, then rapidly began to spread to Samcheok-si, affecting two towns and villages. Soon there simultaneous fires blazed in these areas. The one that took place in Okgye-myeon, Gangneung was started by a man in his 60s who set the fire using a torch and was subsequently arrested. Regarding the fire in Uljin-gun, forest authorities confirmed through security cameras that smoke started to rise after four vehicles passed by, with strong speculation that the fire was started with a cigarette fire. Nevertheless, further investigation is required.

Fifteen temporary residential facilities were set up in Shinhwa 2-ri, Buk-myeon, and Uljin-gun. The victims of the wildfire started living there on March 29. The infrastructure included cooling and heating facilities, restrooms, kitchens, and microwave ovens. As for temporary residential facilities, nine buildings in Sogok-ri and five buildings in Gomok-ri are also expected to receive tenants soon. Among these houses, 257 were burned down, resulting in 335 victims from 219 households. Residents of 195 households wished to live in temporary assembly houses, but 100 buildings were insufficient.

The forest fire damage in Uljin amounted to 168.92 billion won, a slight decrease from the estimated 176.67 billion won reported, while forest damage amounted to 132.71 billion won out of the total damage. Experts expect that it will cost more than 340 billion won to recover from the damage caused by forest fires. According to a survey conducted on March 20, 460 farms suffered from damage, including 37 livestock buildings, 118 green houses, 38 low-temperature storehouses, 1,373 pieces of agricultural machinery, 420 livestock, 3,500 beekeeping troops, and 11.5 ha of crops. Influential figures, associations, and enterprises including Samsung, Daegu Medical Association, Gumi Rural Leaders and Life Improvement Association made massive contributions by donating money to help the victims get back on their feet and to support the local community.

The environment ─mostly trees─ was destroyed, and the local residents lost their homes within a few days. The Korean government should continue to make efforts to restore the damaged environment and help the victims return to their daily lives as soon as possible. In addition, investigative authorities must reveal the truth about the victim and make people aware of the severity and riskiness of the wildfire and the harm it caused.


 

By Park Se-jeong, AG Reporter

summer06@ajou.ac.kr


조회수 0회댓글 0개

최근 게시물

전체 보기

Comments


bottom of page