The southern province of Tay Ninh is employing all necessary measures to protect 60,000 ha of forests at risk of large-scale fires due to the prolonged dry season.

The forests are grown along the borderline with Cambodia and the southern province of Binh Phuoc , and near areas inhabited by ethnic groups.

The locality has taken drastic measures such as building fire belts, providing full equipment to prevent and fight fire, as well as intensifying around-the-clock patrols.

Earlier on March 7, a forest fire was reported at a 0.6 hectare sub-area in the cultural and historical forest site of Ba Den (Black Lady) Mountain – one of the four forest owners of the province. Reckless burning practices by local residents were attributed to the fire, said the provincial Department of Forest Management.

Besides Tay Ninh, seven other localities nationwide have been alerted of forest fire risk, namely Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Gia Lai, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Lam Dong, and Son La.

In 2013, nearly 250 fires occurred across the country, destroying 965 ha of forests. No casualties were reported.

The same year, more than 227,000 hectares of land nationwide were covered with trees, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The country aims to raise the rate of forest coverage to 41.5 percent this year.-VNA