Barbecuing is popular during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, but authorities are reminding the public that not all municipal or national parks allow barbecuing.
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the first full moon of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which this year is Thursday.
In Taipei, people can barbecue at five designated riverside park locations throughout the year except when typhoon warnings are in effect: Yanping (延平), Huazhong (華中), Daonan (道南), Chengmei (成美) and Bailing (百齡).
Anticipating additional demand for barbecuing space during the festival, the city has installed barbecue facilities in 10 more riverside parks: Caihong (彩虹), Guanshan (觀山), Meiti (美堤), Dajia (大佳), Yuanshan (圓山), Jingmei (景美), Fuhe (福和), Machangding (馬場町), Shuangxi (雙溪) and Huazhong (華中).
In New Taipei City, barbecuing will only be allowed at the Shulin Aboriginals Theme Tribe Park (樹林區原住民主題部落公園). Barbecuing at any other riverside park will result in fines, in accordance with the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法), city officials said.
In Kaohsiung, the prime barbecuing area for the estival has long been Chengcing Lake (澄清湖). The park will be open from 6am to 9pm on Thursday, although entrance tickets will only be sold until 6pm. There are 120 brick ovens available for public use, city officials said.
While Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) in Nantou County strictly prohibits open fires within the scenic area, with fines for violations ranging from NT$3,000 to NT$15,000, Yushan National Park allows visitors to make fires within a designated zone as long as flames are kept under control and coal is not used.
Park authorities said the policy is intended to allow campers to make tea and meals, adding that park officials will generally only intervene if campers make fires in or near parking lots or the plazas near park buildings.
The Alishan Forest Recreation Area (阿里山森林遊樂區) does not allow barbecuing and officials have said that while offenders will not be penalized for a first warning, those who continue barbecuing after being warned will be fined between NT$120,000 and NT$600,000.
Kenting National Park officials have reiterated that fires anywhere in the park, including the beaches, are strictly prohibited. Violators could be fined NT$3,000 for each offense under the National Park Act (國家公園法), they said.
In related news, the Central Weather Bureau said Typhoon Meranti is likely to affect Taiwan later this week.
The outer bands of Meranti are expected to bring rain to Taiwan from tomorrow to Thursday. However, many variables about its path remain uncertain and tomorrow will be a critical time to determine its development, the bureau said.
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