Forest fires blamed on the unseasonably hot weather have devastated swathes of forestry and agricultural land across the country.

An estimated 30ha of forest on Hai Van Mountain Pass in Lien Chieu district in Da Nang was destroyed by fire on May 2.

The blaze was first discovered by rangers in section 4A of eucalyptus forest. It quickly spread to section 11 on the top of Hai Van Mountain pass, 30km north of Da Nang city centre.

About 500 soldiers, fire-fighters and local militia were mobilised to contain the fire, and their efforts were finally successful in the early hours of May 3.

"It's so hard for us to approach the fire because the forest is more than 1,000m above sea level. This has prevented fire-fighters and rescuers from gaining access to the area," deputy head of Lien Chieu district's forest ranger section Phan Van Rong said.

"The fire is particularly serious because the forest is near an airfield and an ammunition depot left over from the American War," he said.

A ranger from Lien Chieu district blamed the fire on the recent heat wave.

Meanwhile, another fire has broken out in northern Bac Giang province's Yen Lu commune. It has so far destroyed 6 ha of a 10-year-old forest.

In the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang's Bac Quang district, 12ha of forest has been destroyed by fire, which was extinguished on May 2 morning.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting recorded the historical peak hot temperature in the northern mountain province of Lao Cai on May 2
The average temperature in the province was reported at 40 to 41 degree Celsius.

The high mountain Sa Pa Town's temperature was hit by the recorded 29 degree Celsius. In lower areas, the outside temperature was 43 to 45 degree Celsius, the highest level in the last 55 years.

The hot weather has put the region in the high risk of fire. Many hectares of corn and bean fields have suffered withered-leaf.-VNA