Blaze destroys 65,000 trees in country park and edges closer to Tuen Mun Fanned by winds from Typhoon Cimaron, a hill fire said to be the biggest in a decade continued to burn through Tai Lam Country Park and edge close to Tuen Mun town last night. The blaze has already destroyed 65,000 trees and incinerated 400 hectares of Hong Kong's most picturesque countryside. The fire, which began on Wednesday, defied the efforts of more than 100 firefighters and three government helicopters as it blazed along a steep valley near Tuen Mun. It is the worst of more than 136 fires that have broken out since Monday's Chung Yeung Festival brought out tens of thousands of worshippers to burn paper offerings at their ancestors' graves. 'It's all over the hill. This is worse than yesterday's hill fires because of the wind. The wind is changing direction all the time and helping to spread the fire,' said Dicky Hui, a civil aid volunteer, who was marching up the hill with his platoon at about 9pm. About 100 people from the Civil Aid Service and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department are helping firefighters battle the blaze. The hill fire came within 2km of Castle Peak Road where scores of private residential estates and schools are located. Mr Hui said he and 50 other volunteers and firefighters, equipped with beaters and water bombs, were staying put because they could not get close to the blaze. 'We are monitoring it and will alert the authorities and nearby residents when necessary,' Mr Hui said. At 11pm, police and fire services said that there was no need to evacuate residents. The Fire Services Department said the cause was still unknown but burnt offerings left behind by grave-sweepers or a discarded cigarette were prime suspects. 'The typhoon makes our task in extinguishing the fire harder as the wind is strong and always changing direction,' acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer (New Territories) Yu Kam-keung said. 'It makes the fire spread much faster and it is difficult for us to do the job.' The task is unlikely to get any easier in the next few days as the typhoon lingers in the South China Sea, buffeting Hong Kong with fresh winds, and with low humidity making matters worse. 'The fire is very serious. It is the biggest hill fire in 10 years,' Mr Yu said. It would take at least 10 years to revive the park, he said. Some 100,000 to 200,000 young trees would have to be planted, costing up to HK$2 million. Other areas endangered by hill fires yesterday included Ngau Tam Mei and Shui Kan Shek on Fan Kam Road.