More than 2,000 people were battling fire in anancient Tibetan town of mostly wooden houses in south-western China
on Saturday, state media reported, according to dpa.There were no immediate reports of casualties as more than 2,000
residents were evacuated from the 1,300-year-old town of Dukezong inthe resort county of Shangri-La, the China News Service said.The fire broke out about 1:30 am, destroying more than 100 of theroughly 1,000 wooden houses that radiate up cobbled streets from thecentre of the Tea Horse Trail town.Firefighters, soldiers, police and volunteers battled the blazes thatwere "basically under control" and contained to the south-westernpart of town by 10:38 am, the Xinhua news agency reported.Putting out the fire was proving difficult in the dry, windy weather.Firefighters told the China News Service their vehicles werestruggling with "difficult traffic conditions."As one of the oldest and best-preserved Tibetan towns in the region,Dukezong was once a staging post on the South Silk Road and is knownby names including "white stone city," "moonlight city" and "firststep to Shangri-La."In an effort to promote tourism, Zhongdian county in north-westernYunnan province was renamed Shangri-La in 2001, after the fictionalland depicted in the 1933 James Hilton novel Lost Horizon.More than 2,000 firefighters, soldiers, police, local officials andvolunteers responded to the blaze and brought it under control around11am, the Shangri-La county government said.More than 100 houses in Dukezong were destroyed, local authoritiessaid. Most of the structures were made of wood and the fire spread
easily because of dry weather, media reports said.