Fire breaks out on China’s famous Buddhist mountain

TAIYUAN, March 20 -- A fire has broken out on Mount Wutai, one of China's four sacred Buddhist mountains, in north China's Shanxi Province, the management committee of the scenic area said Friday.

The fire broke out on Thursday evening near a parking lot on the mountain and 1,500 people have been sent to the area to battle the fire as of Friday noon, according to the committee. Water cannons and helicopters have also been used to put out the fire.

As the burning point is 9.5 km away from the core area of the scenic spot, the fire poses no risks at present to the main temples on the mountain, according to the firefighters.
The nearest residential area to the fire is a village 1.5 km away, which has 94 permanent residents. Added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2009, Mount Wutai is home to about 50 Buddhist temples built between the 1st century and the early 20th century.
 The site is located in Wutai County, Xinzhou city in Shanxi Province, 230 km from the provincial capital, Taiyuan.  Xinhua