Japan Grapples With Second Forest Fire in One Week – Reports
Tokyo – Japan’s Self-Defense Forces are fighting a large forest fire that has spread over 9 hectares (22.2 acres) in the western Tokyo prefecture for the second day in a row, local media reported Wednesday.
According to the NHK broadcaster, the fire started on Tuesday, when a local man lit a bonfire in his garden. After putting it out he returned home, but the strong wind picked up the embers and reignited the flames. When the man noticed the fire, it was already too late. As a result, two buildings burnt down, and the blaze spread over to the nearby forest. Currently the fire is raging over 22.2 acres.
Another forest fire in Tochigi prefecture has already scorched at least 50 hectares (123 acres) over three days. As of now it still shows no signs of dying out, despite efforts of the firefighters, leading the local authorities to order evacuation of 172 households in its path. The Self-Defense Forces dispatched five choppers to help with fire suppression efforts on the ground.