Forest Fire Breaks out, Threatening 1,500-Year-Old Cliff Temple

Forest Fire Breaks out, Threatening 1,500-Year-Old Cliff Temple

20 March 2006

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China — A forest fire on scenic Mount Hengshan in North China’s Shanxi Province has local authorities worried that it may threaten a 1,500-year-old mountainside temple.

The fire broke out at a cliff near the foot of Mount Hengshan in Hunyuan County on Monday afternoon, said Li Geng, director of Shanxi provincial department on forestry fire control.

Although there is not a large area that is burning, it’s complicated because fire fighters can not access to the cliff site, Li said.

Fire diversion belts have been set up near the top of Hengshan to prevent the fire to climb up and threaten the famous Xuankong Temple at the mountain top, Li said.

Xuankong Temple was built in the late Northern Wei Dynasty (386 – 534). The wooden building is famous for being supported by 30 meter high wooden pillars on the cliff faces.

Mount Hengshan is located in the northern part of Shanxi and Hebei provinces. It was also known as “A Fort Guarding the North Borders,” in the past.


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