Forest fires threatens areas across country hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Prolonged dry weather has put many parts of Vietnam at a risk of forest fires, the Forest Protection Department warned.

On March 7, the department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked provinces and cities to tighten inspections and supervision on forest fire fighting and prevention.

The department also named 16 localities across the country at highest risk of forest fires. Most are in the central and Central Highlands regions, including Binh Phuoc, Ninh Thuan, Dak Nong, Gia Lai and Lam Dong.

The southern provinces of Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, Ca Mau and An Giang, and the northern province of Hoa Binh are also hotspots for forest fires.

On March 9 afternoon, a fire broke out at the cajuput forest in Tra Da commune, Pleiku city in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.

It took firefighters about two hours to get the fire under control, but the fire recurred a few hours later due to dry weather and strong winds.

Dau Van Huy, head of the provincial police’s search and rescue team, said there could be mines or bombs from war time in the area where the fire broke out. Firefighters could not directly extinguish the fire, but they isolated it to ensure the safety of the surrounding areas. The fire was relatively controlled as of 3 a.m. on March 10.

Another fire broke out on March 9 afternoon in Tram Tau district in the northern province of Yen Bai. It also spread to Son La province.

As of March 10 morning, about 500 firefighters and rescuers were working to extinguish the fire and had successfully controlled it in Yen Bai, according to a Vietnam News Agency reporter.

They also helped neighbouring Son La province deal with the fire.

Dao Van Nguyen, Chairman of the People’s Committee in Son La province’s Phu Yen district where the fire spread, said that they found the fire difficult to approach. It was at a height of 1,200 metres on sloping land near no roads.

It took firefighters about seven hours to reach the scene, including four hours on foot, he said.-VNA