More than 800 people fled to emergency shelters today as a forest fire raged near the coastal city of Weihai in Shandong province.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but heatwaves in many parts of China were considered a factor in the conflagration. Shandong has hoisted an orange weather alert in the past few days as temperatures in some areas reached 41 degrees Celsius.
The Weihai city government said that by 6.40am today, the fire had been largely controlled, with only a few areas till in flames.
Residents in densely populated areas nearby panicked as thick smoke blanketed the air.
Public servants and state-run firms’ employees were required to report to various government headquarters, where they were given water buckets and brooms to attack the flames and shuttled to fire zones where they could assist the firemen.