As many as 13 forest fires occurred in the central province of Binh Dinh in the first half of August, destroying over 191 hectares of forests.

The figure brought the total number of blazes in the province to 52 since the beginning of this year, wiping out over 378 ha of forests, according to the provincial forest management department.

Phu Cat district was the hardest hit with more than 118 ha, followed by Quy Nhon city, 76.31 ha; and Van Canh mountainous district, nearly 68 ha.

More than 1,600 ha of forests have dried out as a result of the ongoing drought. Most of the forest areas are at high risk of fires.

Being aware of the situation, local authorities have asked the department in coordination with relevant agencies to intensify measures against massive fires.

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

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

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