Motorcyclists go full throttle to help in Chongqing

Chen Xiaoli
Grassroots heroes – motorcyclists – have volunteered to transport supplies after bushfires broke out in Chongqing last week due to drought and heatwaves.
Chen Xiaoli
Motorcyclists go full throttle to help in Chongqing
Red Star News

Motorcyclists transport supplies.

Persistent drought and heatwaves have caused multiple bushfires in mountain and forest areas of southwest China's Chongqing in the past week.

Firefighters, armed forces, professional rescue teams and helicopters have been mobilized.

According to Chongqing's Emergency Management Bureau, wildfires in Dazu and Tongliang Districts have been brought under control, and fires in Fuling, Kaizhou and Wanzhou Districts have been extinguished. By Wednesday at noon, a fire on Beibei Districts's Jinyun Mountain had been burning for almost 60 hours and firefighting is still underway.

Legions of volunteers have joined the cause. Among them, hundreds of local motorcyclists have become a primary force, transporting supplies and firefighting equipment, Red Star News reported.

Motorcyclists go full throttle to help in Chongqing
Red Star News

Motorcyclists transport supplies.

On the morning of August 22, motorcyclist "Er Mantou" received a call from the Chongqing traffic police asking him to help transport supplies to Beibei by motorcycle after a fire broke out in Xiema Subdistrict's Hutou Village the night before.

There is a narrow country road two or three kilometers from Xiema Subdistrict leading to the material gathering site under the mountain that large vehicles can't pass through, making it necessary to enlist motorcyclists.

Er Mantou sent a message to an online chat group of motorcycle enthusiasts to ask for help, and to his surprise, more than 500 motorcyclists came to Hutou Village within an hour.

Since then, even more motorcyclists have provided assistance after the call for help circulated online.

Motorcyclists go full throttle to help in Chongqing
WEVIDEO

"Erhu," a 30-year-old man who works for the exit and entry administration department, is one of them. When he and his friends arrived at the scene after riding for more than an hour, they found hundreds of motorcyclists already there as well as many volunteers.

Erhu told Red Star News that motorcycles are commonly used to transport supplies up mountains, such as fire extinguishers, food and water, and when going down, they transport rescue workers who are changing shifts.

Mountain roads are always challenging as they're often covered with gravel, making it easy to fall.

"The roads on the mountain are not paved with cement. They're roads that have been dug up by excavators. They're very narrow and steep, and there is a lot of slippery mud. Almost everyone fell. I fell a few times," Erhu said.

Motorcyclists go full throttle to help in Chongqing
Red Star News

The material gathering site at Xiema Subdistrict in Beibei District.

He was impressed by everyone's effort at the scene of the fire.

"Everyone understands each other and are united together. All of them just want to do one thing – put out the fire as soon as possible," he said.

Chinese teacher Dai Lanlan from Liangjiang New Area and motorcycle shop owner Wang Xiaochen from Jiulongpo District also lent a hand on August 23.

Dai saw information about motorcyclists needed on her WeChat Moments.

"I want to do anything I can to help," she said.

Due to the steep mountain road, most people can only ride halfway up the mountain.

"If we can't go further, we will unload the supplies halfway up and let riders with better skills transport them to the mountain top, or volunteers will deliver the supplies by foot," Wang said.

Large swaths of China have recently experienced heatwaves. Chongqing is experiencing its most severe sustained heatwave since 1961.



Motorcyclists go full throttle to help in Chongqing
Red Star News

Volunteers delivering supplies.

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