|The U Minh Hạ forest, spread across 43,000ha, is completely dry. — VNA/VNS Photo|
CÀ MAU — The 43,000ha U Minh Hạ Melaleuca forest has been completely dry since Monday, according to forest rangers of the Mekong Delta province of Cà Mau.
This puts 4,200ha of the forest area under forest fire danger level 5 (very high) and another 14,600ha under danger level 4 (high). Most of this area falls in the communes of Nguyễn Phích, Khánh An and Khánh Lâm in U Minh District and Khánh Bình and Tây Bắc communes in Trần Văn Thời District.
Many measures have been put in place to protect the forest, prevent fire and regularly track water levels to issue timely forest fire forecasts as well as mobilise adequate contingency forces.
The provincial forest ranger has conducted several awareness campaigns, calling for individuals to take fire prevention measures and teaching local residents to put out fire.
Authorities have also warned against collecting honey in the dry season and have set up warning signs in the forest.
Regarding the areas with high danger levels of forest fire, the provincial department of agriculture and rural development has asked forest owners to tighten management and promptly implement preventive measures. They have also been asked to lower dams for waterway vehicles to run normally on canals with low water levels, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Efforts have been accelerated since the beginning of the dry season in Mekong Delta. Kiên Giang Province, for example, plans to allocate VNĐ10 billion (US$440,000) on forest fire preparedness and management this year. — VNS