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Chongqing Reported Successful Wildfire Suppression under Extreme Heat Conditions

By KENNY DONGJAMES ALEXANDERICHONGQING|Aug 27,2022

Chongqing- Since August 21, thousands of firefighters, armed police, and volunteers have been fighting the wildfire in Beibei, as the forest of Jinyun mountain was burning for the fifth consecutive day.

Due to the extreme heat in recent days, China’s southwestern metropolis Chongqing has fought several forest fires around the mountains, which have drawn international attention. Most of the sites have announced successful fire suppression.

A hotspot has not been quenched as of August 25, as the fire approached the last barrier made by rooters on Jinyun Mountain in Beibei District, one of the four mountains in the central urban area known as “the lung of Chongqing.”

On the afternoon of August 25, the helicopter was filling water at a lake at the foot of Jinyun Mountain, which was in the background with several spots burning. (iChonging/Kenny Dong)

Firefighting forces continued to be added to Jinyun Mountain, with about 1,700 firefighters formed by trained firemen, armed police officers, and volunteers, debunking the online rumors of “fires out of control.”

The last wildfire barriers were constructed for a total of 1.36 kilometers, with an average width of 60 – 80 meters. If it crossed the line, the fire would be uncontrollable, destroying all the iconic natural attractions that are the pride of the locals.

Chongqing’s mountain fire was in a severe state. Even though the road to the fire site was blocked due to safety concerns, warm-hearted volunteers, mostly young people, still flooded in to offer help. On the scene, the volunteer leaders used loudspeakers to organize volunteers to carry and move supplies, mainly water and ice.

People witnessed a group of volunteers going up into the deep forest to the center of the last barrier. (iChongqing/Kenny Dong)

Dr. Frank Stonier works as an education professor at Chongqing Southwest University. The campus is 20 minutes by car from the fire site at Xiema town in Beibei District.

Frank joined the volunteer team as a resident living in Beibei, helping to install about 50 chain saws for the firefighters. At the same time, he taught others how to assemble the machines. His photographs and videos have been viral on Chinese social media recently.

“Just really glad to see the public was jumping out,” said Frank. “We are a community, and let’s get together and try to solve this problem.”

Liu Zhongliang, 24 years old, is a veteran of the PLA. He came with a veteran organization of more than ten members. The group was waiting at the campsite at the foot of the mountain for a call for assistance.

“The firemen and armed police are the most reliable. Volunteers ask nothing in return except for their assistance,” said Liu. “I did not join the organization myself, but their courage cheered me up.”

The firefighters carried out a plan to expand the barrier in the evening by burning the woods in the opposite direction to the favorable wind direction, preventing the flames from crossing into the last line. This was the critical moment for the firefight at Jinyun Mountain. Beibei officially announced that the last flame had been extinguished at 12:31 a.m. 

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