■ ConferenceFire chiefs to meet
The International Fire Chief's Association of Asia (IFCAA) will hold its annual general conference in Taipei next week, organizers said yesterday. The IFCAA conference will open Wednesday for a three-day run, with new global disaster prevention and relief trends as its main theme, the National Fire Administration (NFA) under the Ministry of the Interior said. More than 2,000 delegates from 23 IFCAA member states or areas will attend the meeting, NFA officials said. In addition to a regular IFCAA board meeting, a working-level meeting and a plenary session, a series of lectures and seminars on disaster prevention/relief mechanisms, management systems and relevant technological development will also be held during the three-day period, the officials said.
■ Forest fire
Lishan blaze controlled
A forest fire in the Lishan and Tayuling areas in mountainous central Taiwan has been brought under temporary control, sources from the Tungshih Forestry Management Department reported yesterday. The fire, which broke out simultaneously in four places late Saturday afternoon, had engulfed nearly nine hectares of state forest as of noon yesterday. The area ravaged by fire contains mainly Taiwan red pine and yellow cedar. Officials said they strongly suspect that the fire was started by farmers who had been informed by the National Forestry Bureau in recent months that if they failed to plant 600 trees per hectare under a forestation project, their leased lands would be taken back by the government and all orchards and crops on any leased land taken back by the government were to be destroyed.