Heroism shines in Chongqing's battle against wildfires

By Ma Chi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-08-28 14:09
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A helicopter drops water over a mountain forest fire in Chongqing, Aug 24. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chongqing, a city in Southwest China, has been battling wildfires caused by extreme heat waves in recent days. Facing the raging flames, people from all walks of life have voluntarily pitched in to jointly snuff out the blazes, displaying extraordinary heroism. Here are some of the memorable moments in the city's fight against the fires.

Mountain road illuminated by headlights

On the evening of Thursday, as firefighters combated the blazes at the Jinyun Mountains of the city's Beibei district, a spectacular sight captured the heart of many people - a stream of headlights worn by fire and rescue workers illuminated the dark mountain paths, posing a stark comparison with the red flames raging on the mountain.

The illumination on the mountain road was described by netizens as a "Firefighting Great Wall" formed by people.

A motorcyclist transports supplies to a nearby firefighting site in Beibei district, Chongqing, on Aug 23, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Motorcyclists send much-needed supplies up mountains

Long Jie, a man in his early 20s, is one of the members of an "army of motorcyclist" that rushed forth and back on the mountains, transporting much-needed supplies to the firefighting frontlines.

Long joined the volunteer group on Aug 22 after fires broke out. In a video clip circulating online, an exhausted Long was seen pouring water down over his head to stay awake. According to the video, Long had been transporting materials weighing dozens of kilograms up and down the unpaved mountain paths around the clock for two days.

"We will not retreat until we put out the fire," Long said.

Francis Stonier (right) is ready to join firefighting volunteers on Tuesday in Chongqing. [Photo provided to CHINA DAILY]

Foreign teacher lends helping hand when second hometown in need

As wildfires ravaged parts of Chongqing, the local governments issued a call for volunteers with certain skills.

After learning the news, Francis Stonier, a 42-year-old American teacher at the city's Southwest University, answered the call immediately. His job was to use chain saws to cut wood to create fire barriers on the mountain.

"I was happy to help," Stonier said.

He came to Chongqing in 2017, and he now views Chongqing as his second home.

"Both my wife and children live in this city. It is my duty to do my part in safeguarding our home," Stonier said.

Farewell to firefighting heroes

Thanks to the joint efforts of fire and rescue workers, as well as volunteers and residents, the heat-related fires in the city had been put under control as of Friday.

After the mountain wildfires were extinguished, a team of firefighters from Yunnan province, who came to aid the city's fight against the flames, was setting out on their journey back home on Friday.

On their road back, the servicemen were overwhelmed by local residents' warmth.

In one video clip, people sending off the firefighters were seen lining up the streets. Some displayed banners with words of gratitude to the firefighters, some beat drums and gongs, and some threw bottled water, eggs and local specialties on the firefighters' trucks.

A firefighter salutes residents seeing him off on Friday. [Photo/Xinhua]
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