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