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98 more households told to evacuate as Japan forest wildfire burns for 6th day

A wildfire in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, is seen burning for a fifth day in this image taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on Feb. 25, 2021. (Mainichi/Naoaki Hasegawa)

ASHIKAGA, Tochigi -- An additional 98 households have been advised to evacuate on Feb. 26 as a forest wildfire in this east Japan city continues to burn for the sixth day running.

    Firefighting efforts by the Ground Self-Defense Force and others resumed on the morning of Feb. 26. As it remains unclear when the blaze will be extinguished, the municipal government issued a new evacuation advisory to 98 households on the east side of 251-meter-high Mount Ryogai, bringing the total number of households subject to the advisories to 305.

    According to the municipal government, as of the morning of Feb. 26, three shelters in the city were accommodating 11 people in six households.

    The wildfire has burned some 100 hectares of forests on Mount Ryogai and 259-meter-high Mount Tengu to its west. The Kita-Kanto Expressway was closed by the East Nippon Expressway Co. in a section between the Ashikaga and Ota-Kiryu interchanges.

    (Japanese original by Naoto Takeda, Utsunomiya Bureau)

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