It took over 2,000 firemen and military to put out a massive wildfire that threatened a nuclear power facility and a natural gas plant in an eastern coastal part of South Korea on Saturday.
At least 90 houses and other structures were burned, and almost 6,000 people were forced to flee their homes when the blaze, which started on a mountain in Uljin’s neighboring city of Samcheok and quickly extended across 7,400 acres, broke out Friday morning.
Neither injuries nor fatalities were immediately reported. Firefighters in South Korea are investigating the source of the wildfire, which developed quickly due to high winds and dry weather conditions.
There were more than 1,950 firemen and military on the scene as of Saturday morning as well as 273 vehicles and 51 helicopters. Over the course of the night, hundreds of firemen battled tirelessly to keep the fire from spreading to a Samcheok LNG production complex.
On Friday afternoon, President Moon Jae-in declared an alert as the fire neared the perimeter of a seashore nuclear power facility in Uljin, requiring the operator to restrict operations to 50% and turn off certain electrical connections as preventative measures.
An official from the National Fire Agency claimed that hundreds of firemen had been sent to the factory and were able to keep the flames under control until the winds shifted it north into Samcheok.
There was no immediate word from authorities on an estimated time for controlling the fire.