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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Fire destroys ancient Tibetan town made of wood

A ten-hour inferno has razed the ancient Tibetan town of Dukezong in China to the ground

Published 11/01/2014 | 11:05

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Firefighters fortify a wooden building while a fire ravages ancient Dukezong town in Shangri-la county, in southwestern China's Yunnan province, Saturday Jan. 11, 2014. The 10-hour inferno has razed the ancient Tibetan town in the province that's popular with tourists. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT
Firefighters fortify a wooden building while a fire ravages ancient Dukezong town in Shangri-la county
A man carrying his belongings, runs away from a fire at the Dukezong Ancient Town in Shangri-la county, Yunnan province January 11, 2014. More than 1,000 people were battling the fire that broke out early Saturday at a resort county in southwest China's Yunnan province. Residents of the town were evacuated and no casualty has been reported at the moment, according to Xinhua News Agency. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA - Tags: DISASTER TRAVEL) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA
A man carrying his belongings, runs away from a fire at the Dukezong Ancient Town in Shangri-la county
Firefighters spray water as they try to extinguish a fire at the Dukezong Ancient Town in Shangri-la county, Yunnan province January 11, 2014. Fire-fighters extinguished a blaze which destroyed much of an ancient resort town in southwest China on Saturday. It destroyed over 100 houses and incurred a loss of around 100 million yuan ($16.5 million), local authorities estimated, state media reported. REUTERS/China Daily (CHINA - Tags: DISASTER TRAVEL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA
Firefighters spray water as they try to extinguish a fire at the Dukezong Ancient Town in Shangri-la county

MORE than 100 houses were destroyed by the blaze in an ancient Tibetan town in China's southwest Yunnan province early on Saturday.

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Over 2,000 firefighters, soldiers, police, local officials and volunteers responded to the fire in Dukezong - a town popular with tourists - and managed to bring it under control after a ten hour battle.

 

Most structures that were destroyed in the fire were made of wood and the flames spread easily because of dry weather, Chinese state media reported.

 

There was no immediate report of casualties, and the cause of the inferno remained unclear.

 

Dukezong, which dates back more than a thousand years, is popular with tourists because of its preserved ancient streets, structures and Tibetan culture.

 

It is part of the scenic Shangri-La county in Deqen prefecture.

 

The county was once called Gyaitang Zong, but changed its name in 2001 to Shangri-La, hoping to draw tourists by the reference to the mythical Himalayan land described in James Hilton's 1933 novel.

Telegraph.co.uk

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