This was a terrible day in the fledging history of the Forest when a large angry fire ripped throughout the newly planted hills above Pak Kok. A careless family of grave visitors had ignorantly started a fire from the grave they were attending by burning paper money in an uncontrolled way. The atmosphere was dry and the wind was blowing resulting in ideal conditions for forest fires. The flames quickly spread and burnt out of control. As it happened we were on standby as we had been concerned about the vast number of fires that were happening all over Hong Kong during this holiday. There was a handful of volunteers walking amongst the hills around the Forest. We spotted the smoke and called the local fire department who then mobilised on their small fire engines and rushed to the scene. As the fire spread and threatened nearby houses the helicopters were called in to combat the angry flames. We worked hand in hand with the fire fighters trying our best to stop the advancing flames using nothing more than fire beaters, buckets of water and our love for the trees. It was an epic day where volunteers worked beyond their civic duty and risked limbs & life to stop the fires. There are some classic photos of this day for the record.
After the fires were successfully put out and the fatigue set in, and after the adrenalin rush was over and we started to reflect on the loss of thousands of trees, the tremendous loss dawned on us. Sadness kicked in and we wondered if there was any hope of realizing our dream. A very sobering day indeed and one to remember.