The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap currently has nine forest areas with an extremely high risk of fire, a local official said.

They include a part of the army’s Economic Group 959, the Tram Chim National Park, the Dong Cat seedling farm, the Bac Thap Muoi and Go Thap cajuput forests, and the Phu Cuong protective forest.

Most of the highly inflammable areas are covered with a total 6, 465 hectares of cajuput and eucalyptus trees which produce a substantial amount of dry branches and leaves during the dry season, said head of the provincial Department of Forest Management Nguyen Tan Phat.

Those near rice production or residential areas are also prone to fire.

In order to minimise fire risk, the department has asked forest owners to remove dried brush and dig water canals.

It asked locals to exercise caution when burning straw, creating white and green fire breaks.

The local authorities also directed regular patrols, and fire-fighting and rescue drills on the scene.-VNA