|U Minh Hạ National Park in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Cà Mau. – VNA/VNS|
CÀ MAU – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Cà Mau is taking plenty of precautions this year after several forest fires broke out last year at the U Minh Hạ National Park.
The province’s dry season usually lasts from November to April, but this year the onset has been late after unseasonable rains before and after Tết (Lunar New Year), and this means water levels in the park’s water bodies are still high.
According to the park’s Forest Ranger Department, the water levels are at 80 – 100cm in low-lying areas and 30- 40cm in higher places, and this is an advantage when trying to prevent forest fires.
But according to the province People’s Committee, other prevention measures cannot be neglected because last year there were five fires that damaged some 17ha of forests though preventive measures had been in place.
This year the department and other relevant agencies have drawn up many fire-prevention plans such as widening roads to allow fire trucks to go deep into the park, monitoring high-risk zones and severely penalising anyone flouting forest fire prevention rules.
Nguyễn Văn Liêm, deputy head of the department, said observation towers have been repaired and water pumps, tubes and taps have been inspected.
The department has received two more large fire pumps, increasing the total number in the park to 13, he said.
The park stretches over 8,257ha in U Minh and Trần Văn Thời districts. – VNS