Posted April. 05, 2005 23:34,
On April 5, Arbor Day, there was a forest fire in Yangyang-gun, Gangwon Province, which destroyed the old temple, Naksansa, and caused other extensive damage around the area.
In addition, a total of 16 forest fires occurred nationwide, including Goseong-gun, Gangwon Province, Seosan City, Chungnam Province, Yecheon-gun, Gyeongbuk Province, and Jaecheon City, Chungbuk Province.
After fires broke out, the Yangyang area issued an emergency disaster warning and resident evacuation order.
The fire in the Yangyang area happened on a hill on the road that connects Hoeil-ri, Yangyang-eub, Yangyang-gun and Mulgab-ri, G anghyeon-myeon at around 11:50 p.m. on April 4.
The fire made some 2,000 of residents and tourists evacuate and burned down 38 buildings, including 33 houses, and 150 hectares of forests.
Although the fire was under control for a while, at around 11:20 a.m. on April 5, strong winds rekindled the fire and the fire spread to a pine forest around Naksansa temple.
Then the fire burned the Iljumun gate, located in western Naksansa temple, and further destroyed Daeungjeon.
Among 20 wooden buildings and valuable cultural assets in the precincts of Naksansa temple, four buildings, such as Daeungjeon(main worship hall), Yosachae(dormitory for monks), and Gongyanggan (kitchen) were burned down to the ground.
Although the National Emergency Management Agency, Korea Forest Service, the military and the police, and residents did their best to put out the fire, they are having difficulty due to the strong wind.
In addition, as the fire spread to Naksan Beach Hotel near the Naksansa temple, 30 guests and 60 staff members of the Naksan Beach Hotel immediately evacuated.
The fire also caused a heavy traffic jam in the nearby area after the National Highway Seven linked to Yangyang was completely blocked.
Meanwhile, there was another fire in the mid-slope of Gaya Mountain, Daegok-ri, Haemi-myeon, Seosan City, Chungnam Province, which burned 15 hectares of forestlands on same day. The fire was extinguished in about 8.5 hours.
A fire in the demilitarized zone, near Goseong-gun, Kangwon Province, also continues and is heading southward, since it happened seven days ago.
In another case, a fire of unknown origin broke out and is still flaming on a hill behind Sangcheon-ri, Yecheon-eub, Yecheon-gun, Gyeongbuk Province in the afternoon on that day.
According to the Korea Forest Service, 190 hectares of forestlands in total burned, and around 100 people became victims of fires that occurred across the country on April 5.