Fires scorch parts of four prefectures; one hurt

Fires scorch parts of four prefectures; one hurt

12 April 2009

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Japan — A slew of wild fires broke out across four prefectures Saturday, including four in Yamanashi and one in Tokyo, police and firefighters said.

One of the Yamanashi fires broke out in Koshu at around 1 p.m. on Mount Tanayokote, slightly injuring a 65-year-old man from Kawasaki who was hiking with a friend.

Three other fires broke out after 2 p.m. on a mountain in Nanbu, the village of Tabayama, and in a forest in the town of Minobu.

The Tabayama and Minobu fires were extinguished by evening without injuries, the firefighters said.

Firefighting operations in Koshu were halted in the evening but will resume Sunday with a request for a helicopter aid from theSelf-Defense Forces, they said.

Later, at around 4 p.m., a wild fire destroyed about 1,000 hectares and three storage buildings in Hachioji in western Tokyo.

As of Saturday evening, the Tokyo Fire Department had dispatched 48 fire engines and two helicopters to combat the blaze, but no injuries were reported, it said.

Other wild fires were reportedly seen in Aichi and Hyogo prefectures.

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