Localities hurt by widespread forest fires hinh anh 1Rangers put out a fire in Dien Bien (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Forest blazes have taken their toll on various Vietnamese provinces over the past week.

On March 8 and 9, three fires took place on Mount Cau in southern Binh Duong province’s Dau Tieng district, damaging more than 4 hectares of natural woodland.

On March 9, in the northern mountainous province of Son La, a serious fire located in Phu Yen and Bac Son districts spread three kilometres to reach forests in neighbouring Yen Bai province’s Tram Tau district. Another fire in Phu Yen’s Suoi To commune spanned over 10 kilometres.

Fires also broke out at a cajuput forest in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai ’s Pleiku city. T he northern mountainous province of Dien Bien saw fires destroy both natural and commercial forests and grazing land in Mu Cang Chai district . Damage costs are still being calculated.

A record cold spell in January lies at the root of the fire outbreak. Frost caused a massive kill of plants, which then became piles of flammable materials.

Locals burning forests for farming lands and animal hunting have contributed to worsening the situation.

In many areas, dry and hot weather triggers fires and helps them spread rapidly, while mountainous terrain in some areas makes it hard for rangers to extinguish these blazes.

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 the 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.-VNA