Part of Yangmingshan National Park will be closed for three months after a 17-hour fire engulfed 25 hectares of the park on Monday night.
Although the cause of the fire has not yet been officially announced, Pi Yu-ming (
Tsay Bae-luh (
"Visitors need to be extra careful about fire while visiting a forest park, especially during the summer when it's dry and hot," he said.
He added that although the fire did little harm to the quillwort conservation area at Meng Huan Lake (
"It takes a long time to recover a natural environment once it's ruined," Tsay said.
According to Pi, the fire broke out at 9:44pm on Monday near Hsiaoyukeng (
Although the city's fire department dispatched 24 fire engines and 143 firefighters to the scene, the fire quickly widened to 100 pings (330 m2) on the lush mountain which is blanketed with silver grass and sword bamboo.
"The fire spread so quickly mainly because it was extremely dry and windy on the mountain and it was hard to find water to extinguish the fire," Pi said.
An ad-hoc command center was established about two hours after the blaze broke out. At 10:30pm, Tsay arrived at the scene with 40 of the park's administrative officials to help coordinate at the center.
About 150 soldiers and 120 military police arrived at the scene at around 11:30pm in response to the center's emergency request for assistance.
Just as the fire seemed to be under control, it started anew near Meng Huan Lake and Chi Hsing Mountain at around 1am yesterday, Pi said. Meng Huan Lake is a conservation area for the rare Taiwan quillwort.
Firefighters rushed to the municipal Education Radio Station (
As the fire gradually built up, the command center requested help from the Forestry Department of the Council of Agriculture, which sent 67 veteran firefighters to help douse the fire.
The fire was finally snuffed out at 2:35pm, more than 16 hours after it first broke out.