|U Minh Ha cajuput forest is spread over more than 80,000ha in Tran Van Thoi, U Minh and Thoi Binh districts. It will be closed until the end of April due to the high risk of fire in dry season. — Photo camau.gov.vn
CA MAU (VNS) — The southernmost province of Ca Mau will temporarily close the U Minh Ha cajuput forest from today till the end of April.
The decision has been taken as there is a high risk of fire in the area during the dry season.
According to Nguyen Van Hai, head of the provincial sub-department of forest protection, the water level in the area has been falling rapidly due to the dry weather that has been affecting the forest for more than a month.
Fire prevention measures are being intensified, while forest exploitation and its unauthorised access will be banned during the period, said Hai.
He, however, revealed that domestic and foreign visitors can still visit the forest under the local forest rangers' guidance.
The U Minh Ha cajuput forest is spread over more than 80,000ha in Tran Van Thoi, U Minh and Thoi Binh districts. It is home to the 8,000ha Vo Doi national forest.
The populations of birds and wild animals have surged in recent times in the forest in Ca Mau, according to the province's sub-department of forest protection.
There are storks, egrets, cormorants and night herons, among several other bird species.
To protect the birds, the sub-department has carried out several measures, such as preventing people from coming into close contact with them and providing them food and water.
Several rare animals, including wild boars, weasels, pythons and crocodiles, have also been spotted in increasing numbers.
Local forest rangers said that based on the animal tracks, there are now probably hundreds of wild boars, which had not been seen in the forest for several years.
Herds of animals had been spotted looking for food along the roads, they said.
Ca Mau banned the hunting, transportation and sale of rare wild animals in 2000. — VNS