Drought heightens risk of forest fires hinh anh 1A reservoir was built in ​Bu Dop District in Binh Phuoc province to prevent forest fires. (Photo: VNA)

Binh Phuoc (VNA) - Prolonged dry weather has significantly increased forest fire risk in the southeast region, authorised agencies report.

In southern Binh Phuoc province, at least 150 forest fire hotspots have been named since the beginning of this year. The province has more than 58,000 hectares of forests, scattered through the Bu Gia Map, Phuoc Long, Dong Phu, Loc Ninh, and Bu Dang districts. The risk of fire is extremely high in these forests.

Nguyen Van Truong, a Phuoc Long township resident, said it rained in the past several days, but not enough.

“Just dropping a cigarette butt can cause fire,” he said.

Vu Dinh Truc, the deputy head of the provincial Forest Protection Department, said the province has more than 30 units in charge of forest protection and 90 teams in charge of fire control. These teams patrol areas at high risk of fire and clean up dry leaves.

In southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, nearly 30 forest fire hotpsots have been pointed out. Of these, the Long Son, Thi Vai, and Minh Dam mountains are at highest risk, as there is no water available on these mountains to battle fires.

Ngo Thanh Quang, a representative of the provincial Forest Protection Department, said the province has prepared plans in case of fires. Rangers, soldiers and local residents would be mobilised for tasks. In key areas, rangers would co-ordinate with local people around-the-clock, to avoid fires.

In southern Dong Nai province, many forests in the Tan Phu, Vinh Cuu, Xuan Loc, and Long Thành districts are warning locals of fire risks.

Local authorities set up fire watchtowers and mobilised rangers for active duty at 60 areas around-the-clock, to prevent fires.

Dry weather and drought are expected to continue in the region until next month.-VNA