Raging Wildfire in Nyagchuka, Tibet, Continues to Spread

Wildfire engulfs Nyagchukha county in Kham Kardze, Tibet on Friday. Image: Instagram

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 18 March: A wildfire that broke out on the evening of 15 March in Nyagchukha, Kham Kardze in Tibet, has led to the urgent evacuation of 1,360 households with 5,908 people, according to the latest news report from Khampa TV at 8 a.m. today.

According to Chinese state-run media reports, over 1,000 firefighters and eight helicopters have been deployed to extinguish the fire. The fire, which initially flared in Petse (Chinese Baizi) village in Nyagchukaha, quickly spread in several directions due to a sudden and unpredictable wind shift, making fire control efforts doubly difficult.

By Sunday evening to early Monday, the blazing fire had reached residential areas near the PetroChina gas station in Nyagchuka, according to multiple reports. Firefighters were reported to have swiftly laid hose lines and used water cannons to protect the homes. However, videos circulating on social media platforms show houses and buildings engulfed in flames.

While a large number of evacuees have found temporary resettlement through relatives and friends, others are being accommodated at eight temporary shelters set up to care for them.

Wildfire engulfs Nyagchukha county in Kham Kardze, Tibet on Friday. Image: Instagram

Due to the massive fire blazing in Tibet for several days, the sky above Chengdu, a Chinese city located 500 kilometres from the fire site, reportedly turned orange on Saturday, with one resident saying, “The sky suddenly turned frighteningly orange in Chengdu. It felt like an apocalyptic disaster movie.”

So far, there are no reports of casualties. However, a section of a highway passing through the region has been temporarily closed, according to the report.

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