Dry, windy weather fans scores of hill fires

Hong Kong recorded 43 hill fires - caused by dry and windy weather - between Tuesday to yesterday evening, including two flame trails on Kai Kung Leng mountain which lasted about 16 hours.

At around 7pm Tuesday, the Fire Services Department received a number of reports of a hill in the vicinity of Lam Tsuen Country Park being on fire, with flame trails stretching to 80 meters long at one point.

At about 11pm, hill fires also broke out around Heung Yuen Wai and Nga Yiu Ha.

The department announced at 11.20pm that firefighting operations were underway and advised those who were affected by the smoke and smell to take shelter and stay calm.

At 9am yesterday, the flame trail on Kai Kung Leng was about 60 meters long before finally being put out at 11.09am. There were no injuries.

Meanwhile, temperatures dropped to 10 degrees Celsius in urban areas yesterday morning under the influence of a dry northeast monsoon.

At the Tseung Kwan O waterfront promenade, some dogs were seen sporting outerwear to keep them warm, while some morning swimmers jumped into the sea near Hung Hom without any fear of the cold.

Dry and chilly weather will continue today with the mercury dipping to as low as 12 degrees.

Clear skies are expected for the next few days - with cold mornings and a large difference between day and night temperatures toward the end of the week.

A fresh easterly airstream early to mid next week will bring more cloud, while temperatures will gradually rise and are expected to exceed 20 degrees.

Meanwhile, a female hiker, 55, died on Tuesday at Eastern Hospital after falling 30 meter off a cliff on Lantau Island.