Hill fire near Sha Tin estate reduced to smoke in certain areas after burning for 40 hours

Blaze covering 2,500 square metres has been burning since Friday

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 12:24am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 11:27am

A hill fire near a public housing estate in Sha Tin which had been blazing for more than 40 hours since Friday was reduced to smoke in several areas as of 11am on Sunday morning, according to a Fire Services Department spokesman.

The Government Flying Service is helping to put out the remains of the fire with water bombing.

The blaze, which started at around 3.30pm on Friday on a hill facing Shui Chuen O Estate, raised fears among locals nearby that it may spread to engulf their homes.

It was reported that firefighters had brought the fire under control on Friday evening only to see it rekindle at around 1.30am on Saturday and develop to eventually cover 40,000 square metres.

As of 11.30pm on Saturday, there were several burning areas covering a total of 2,500 square metres, a Fire Services Department spokesman said.

Sha Tin district councillor Yau Man-chun said the fire had spread very close to To Shek village by 8pm and many villagers were worried about the possibility of it further spreading.

But Yau cited firefighters as saying there was no need for an evacuation at that stage.

“I’m a bit worried that if the wind gets stronger and the weather continues to be very dry, the fire may spread into residential areas,” Yau said.

He said many residents at the estate, which has 11 blocks, told him they could smell the smoke and had seen black ash blown into their flats.

“Helicopters were seen above the estate very frequently yesterday and today,” Yau said. “There are also many fire trucks running in and out of the estate.”