Historic wildfire wipes out massive area in Hanoi forest

By Gia Chinh - Duc Cuong   June 5, 2017 | 08:43 pm PT
A large chunk of the forest was destroyed in the most devastating wildfire of the city’s history.

More than 30 hectares (74 acres) of a pine forest in Soc Son District on the outskirts of Hanoi were burned down Tuesday in one of Vietnam’s most devastating wildfires.

The city’s agriculture chief called it the “worst wildfire” in Hanoi’s history. It started on Monday afternoon and lasted for 15 continuous hours, during a record-setting heat wave.

Nearly 2,000 people including soldiers and firefighters worked through the night to stop the fire, as the city was sweating through the intense heat of early summer.

The fire was only put out at 3 a.m. on Tuesday after a downpour.

Initial investigation blamed the naturally occurring fire on the heat wave and the dry leaves in the forest.

Temperatures in Hanoi hit 42.5 degrees Celsius, or 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit, on Sunday.

The forest lies 30 kilometers (19 miles) to the north of the city downtown.

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