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Lao Cai heatwave prompts forest fire alert

Update: March, 16/2015 - 14:55
The northwest province of Lao Cai has placed several forests in the Hoang Lien National Park on extremely high fire alert. — Photo citinews

LAO CAI (VNS) — The northwest province of Lao Cai has placed several forests in the Hoang Lien National Park on extremely high fire alert.

The warning followed forecasts that the heatwave and dry winds in the popular tourist province would continue for another four days.

The local Sa Pa Meteorological and Hydrological Agency said the prolonged heatwave was characterised by long hours of intense sunshine and dry winds.

The agency said the Foehn wind blew at 6m per second, bringing humidity down to 34 per cent.

The provincial government – Lao Cai People's Committee – instructed its relevant agencies to work closely with local authorities in taking precautions against the outbreak of wildfires.

Residents near the Hoang Lien National Park have been warned to brace for forest fires.

In high-risk forest areas, authorities place fire warning signs on a daily basis to alert tourists and trekkers.

The lighting of fires is strictly prohibited in the forest.

Forest wardens have been told to increase their forest patrols during the hours of maximum forest fire risk, from noon to late evening.

This prolonged heatwave is forecast to end on March 20 -- after which the forest fire alerts would be downgraded -- when a cold air mass is expected to reach the country from the North, bringing along precipitation. — VNS

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