Tomb Sweeping Day (Ching Ming Festival) falls on April 5 this year, and as usual in the weeks preceding the festival, many families are getting in early to clean up family plots in cemeteries around Taiwan. In Ilan County alone, firefighters were called to 32 wildfires on the weekend of March 24-25, with 20 of the fires breaking out on Sunday.
Ilan County Fire Bureau said that firefighters were exhausted. The bureau blamed carelessness, dry conditions, and wind, for the proliferation of fires around the grave sites. The fire bureau urged people to take care when burning candles and ghost money, and to ensure residual fires are completely extinguished before they leave the site.
From March 24 to April 8, police will be stationed at, or patrolling cemeteries to warn people to prevent wildfires, and the fire department will place eco-friendly water bags at the entrance to cemeteries that people can take to put fires out before leaving the grave site.
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