Chongqing residents unite to vanguish wildfires(3)

2022-08-29 08:31:36China Daily Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download


International support

The fire on Jinyun Mountain drew attention from the international community in Chongqing.

On Tuesday, a day after the fire broke out, Francis Stonier, 42, who comes from the United States and is associate professor in the Education Department at Southwest University, which is located at the foot of the mountain, signed up for the chain saw team to help create fire barriers.

He and his university colleagues checked and adjusted about 50 chain saws, which were delivered to fire and rescue workers before being taken to the mountain by volunteer motorcyclists to fell trees.

Stonier's story impressed Yasir Cheena, a 31-year-old Pakistani businessman living in Chongqing.

"I am an outdoor person and very close to nature. When I heard about the fire, I was so sad," Cheena said.

After he saw video footage of Stonier performing volunteer work at the fire scene, Cheena asked his Chinese friends how he could become a volunteer.

Firefighters from neighboring Yunnan province head toward the fire scene in Chongqing on Thursday. [Photo/China Daily]

On Saturday, hundreds of people were still busy completing their work at the Beibei fire scene, where they monitored the ashes and cleared rubbish from the mountain in temperatures that were still above 40 C.

Cheena joined a local volunteer group of 60 people in the morning to carry water up the mountain for the firefighters and volunteers guarding the fire sites.

Wearing a yellow vest and a towel soaked in water on his neck to keep cool, Cheena worked for about six hours carrying water in a large backpack. He was deeply impressed by the efforts of local residents.

"I met people who are not so keen on outdoor life, and who are not that athletic, but they all took part in the rescue effort and did their best to help," he said.

"It was pretty amazing and kind of surprising for me to see so many young volunteers."

A French motorcyclist, named only as Jeremy by local media, carried fire extinguishers, water and medical supplies up the mountain.

"I have been here day and night for three days," he said in a video on the Douyin social media platform on Friday. "I go home and sleep for four to five hours and then come back."

The Frenchman, who has been in China for about nine years, lives in Beibei. He likes to hike on Jinyun Mountain with his family, and told local media the mountain is like an old friend and he hopes it can recover from the fires soon.

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