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Provinces alerted of forest fire risk as dry season continues

Update: February, 11/2014 - 09:39
Last year, nearly 250 fires were reported from across the country, which destroyed 965 hectares of forests.— Photo nguoiduatin

HA NOI (VNS)— The Department of Forest Management has warned 37 provinces of forest fires.

These include nine localities, including Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Gia Lai, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Lam Dong, Son La and Tay Ninh, which have been put on the ‘extremely dangerous' alert level.

Dong Nai has been put on the highest five-level alert. The province has nearly 162,000 hectares of forest cover.

Nearly 1,000 hectares of indigo forests in U Minh Ha National Park in southernmost Ca Mau Province are also facing risk of forest fires. The national park, covering more than 8,500 hectares, is an attractive tourism site that draws tens of thousands of tourists each year.

The park's management board has put all forest wardens on duty round the clock to protect the forests and has banned the local people from exploiting the forests for wood and hunting wild animals and from burning fields during the dry season as part of the measures to prevent forest fires.

The department's deputy director Doan Hoai Nam said that currently there are around 290 hot spots of forest fires across the country.

This year's dry season saw more complicated weather development, he added. Meanwhile, the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Centre warned that the hot and dry weather would continue in many localities for some more time.

Some forest fires broke out right at the beginning of this year, including one at Hoang Lien National Park in northern mountainous Lao Cai Province's Sapa District last week. More than 300 firefighters were mobilised to douse the fire, which destroyed more than 15.5 hectares of forests.

Last year, nearly 250 fires were reported from across the country, which destroyed 965 hectares of forests.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked localities to tighten supervision and directed investors to replant trees after using forests to implement their infrastructure construction projects, particularly for hydro-power and mineral exploitation projects.

He also instructed localities to take measures to protect forests, particularly to prevent forest fires in the dry season.

The country aims to raise the rate of forest coverage to 41.5 per cent this year.

Last year, nearly 227,350 hectares of forests were planted, meeting 89 per cent of the yearly target. — VNS

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