Utsunomiya, Tochigi Pref. – A forest fire that broke out in late February on a mountain north of Tokyo has finally been extinguished after scorching about 106 hectares, the local government said Monday.
With firefighters pointing to the possibility of a hiker having caused the fire in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, Mayor Satoshi Izumi said in a news conference he hopes to implement measures such as “regulations that will prevent people from smoking on mountains.”
The fire did not cause any injuries or damage to local houses.
Given serious consequences residents could suffer if the fire flares up again, Izumi said he made the announcement after local officials made doubly sure that the fire had died down.
Helicopters had struggled to fight the fire that started on Feb. 21 due to strong winds. The fire spread toward houses in some areas.
Authorities issued evacuation advisories for about 305 homes at one point, and the Ground Self-Defense Force was called in to help.
The fire caused some schools and roads near the mountain to be temporarily closed.
According to the city, a hiker first spotted the fire in a forested area near the mountain that has a well-known hiking trail and called emergency services.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.