The South Korean government on Friday declared a state of national disaster over the massive blaze that engulfed five cities and counties along the northeastern coast.
The fire broke out at about 7:17 p.m. Thursday (1017 GMT) on a roadside in Goseong, a northeastern border town some 210 km northeast of the capital Seoul, according to local media reports citing the firefighting authorities.
Affected by strong wind, the flame rapidly spread to nearby mountainous regions including the Inje county and the cities of Sokcho, Donghae and Gangneung in Gangwon province.
As of 7:30 a.m. local time Friday (2230 GMT Thursday), one has been confirmed dead and at least 11 were injured.
About 250 hectares of forest were gutted by the fire, and some 125 houses were destroyed. Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate overnight.