Taiwan — A forest fire on Hsuehshan, also known as Snow Mountain, was put out Friday afternoon, but not before four hectares of firs and arrow bamboo trees burned to the ground.
The fire on the 3,886-meter mountain in northern Taiwan was ignited Thursday afternoon when a six-member mountain-climbing group raised a fire to alert a rescue helicopter of the exact location of a injured climber, who fractured a bone in a fall near a mountain lodge.
While the injured climber surnamed Wu was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Chiayi for treatment, the fire quickly spread.
Local firefighters rushed to the scene, but hampered by a lack of water and the mountainous winding terrain, they called on the Ministry of the Interior to send a helicopter to help combat the blaze.
A helicopter loaded with 26.4 tons of water flew two missions to the mountain and sprayed the blaze from the air. The fire came under control Friday at noon and was fully extinguished at 4: 51 p.m., but some rangers stayed on the scene to prevent it from reigniting.
Forestry Bureau officials said they will ask for compensation for the damage done to the forest. Shei-Pa National Park police have also questioned members of the mountain climbing team.
For the safety of visitors, Shei-Pa National Park also announced that most of the mountain trails will be temporarily closed to hikers.