Central and southern provinces in Vietnam are working hard to cope with risks of forest fires and saltwater intrusion resulting from the ongoing dry season.

The Forest Protection Sub-Department of central Quang Ngai province is augmenting patrols at fire-prone sites in 123 communes, deputy head of the sub-department Nguyen Dai said.

In each commune, his department has contracted with one resident who will help authorities examine local forest fire prevention methods and instruct others living there how to avoid causing fires while performing agricultural activities.

Fire prevention is also being entrusted to families residing near forests, Dai noted, adding that financial support has been provided for the work.

The sub-department said Binh Son and Duc Pho districts and Long Dau Mountain in Tinh An Dong commune, and Thien An Mountain in Truong Quang Trong ward are the most susceptible areas to forest fires.

In the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, agencies have been demanded to closely monitor the salinity of rivers and irrigation systems’ operations so as to prevent saltwater intrusion into key agricultural zones such as the Long Xuyen Quadrangle, the western Hau River, and U Minh Thuong.

Meanwhile, Kien Giang has spent more than 2.5 billion VND (119,000 USD) on building 48 anti-saltwater dykes in Kien Luong, An Bien, An Minh, and U Minh Thuong districts.

Though key rivers and canals have been contaminated with saltwater due to tides and low rainfall, agricultural fields have so far remained free of saltwater thanks to protection facilities, said Nguyen Huynh Trung, deputy head of the province’s Irrigation Sub-Department.

However, such facilities have not been built synchronously province-wide as Kien Giang cannot afford the construction expenses, he noted.-VNA