|Firefighters extinguish a fire in U Minh Hạ Forest in the southernpost province, Cà Mau, yesterday. – VNA/VNS Photo Huỳnh Thế Anh|
CÀ MAU – Some 10ha of forest in U Minh Hạ National Park in the southernmost province of Cà Mau was destroyed by a fire that broke out on Wednesday afternoon and lasted until 2am.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyễn Tiến Hải arrived at the scene this morning to direct the relevant agencies to address the fire’s aftermath.
Head of the province’s Forest Protection Sub-department Lê Văn Hải said huge trees were struck by lightning yesterday afternoon, sparking the fire, which spread quickly.
In the last few days, local media reported more than 43,000ha of cajuput trees in the U Minh Hạ forest, the country’s largest cajuput forest, faced the threat of forest fires, as the prolonged drought has caused water levels to decline rapidly. Of this figure, 20,300ha face a level-two risk of forest-fires, and the rest are at the third warning level, according to the province’s Sub-department of Forest Protection. The country’s forest-fire warning system has five levels, with the fifth being the most dangerous. The U Minh Hạ forest, which is located in the Trần Văn Thời, Thới Bình and U Minh districts, often sees fires break out during the dry season.
Since last October, the U Minh Ha forest has taken steps to retain water, yet water levels are still 60cm lower than they were in the same period last year. – VNS