TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a large fire broke out in a field littered with discarded tires in Changhua County on Monday (Nov. 22), authorities are now investigating the cause.
The fire began at around 3 p.m. on a plot of land filled with industrial waste, reported UDN, and grew quickly due to the many flammable objects at the scene. Strong wind spread the flames across an approximately 500-square meter area.
The Changhua County Fire Bureau deployed 30 firefighting vehicles and 62 firefighters, who arrived at 3:18 p.m. and brought the burning under control by 3:47 p.m., according to CNA. The billowing black smoke was visible several kilometers away, raising concerns about air quality.
The county’s Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) sent staff to monitor the air quality and may issue fines between NT$100,000 (US$3,595) and NT$5 million for any violations of the Anti-Air Pollution Act.
The fire may have been caused by someone burning grass in the field. Authorities said they will investigate whether the industrial waste had been discarded illegally.
As the wind has been blowing towards the coast, there have been no reports of acrid smells in populated areas. The EPB has advised nearby factories to close their doors and windows in case of air pollution and for anyone going outdoors to wear a face mask, CNA reported.
As of 8:16 a.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 23), the Changhua County Fire Bureau said it was still working on putting out the fire.