Cleaning vegetation in forests helps prevent forest fires in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province’s Xuyên Mộc District. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị
BÀ RỊA – VŨNG TÀU — The southeastern province of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu is taking urgent measures to prevent forest fires as the area enters the peak period of the dry season.
Agencies have to identify major forests at a high risk of fire and spread, and localities must be prepared to prevent and control fires.
The province has 33,600 ha of forests, accounting for nearly 17 per cent of the province’s total land area.
Forest fire-prevention drills have been held at district and provincial levels, while firebreaks, reservoirs and canals that would help prevent forest fires were completed before January 20.
The province’s Forest Protection Sub-department has inspected high-risk forests around the clock since last December.
The sub-department has temporarily stopped all activities that clean vegetation in forests during the peak dry season.
Trần Giang Nam, deputy head of the sub-department’s Nature Conservation and Forest Management and Protection Division, said: “Forest owners have established plans for reservoirs, firebreaks and controlled forest burning to prevent and control fires."
The sub-department has also increased public awareness about forest fire prevention and control.
One forest fire, at the Trương Phi Mountain in Đất Đỏ District’s Phước Hải Town, has occurred in the province in the dry season, destroying 1ha of bushes and grasses.
Đất Đỏ and the neighbouring district of Long Điền typically have forest fires every year.
Nguyễn Văn Lời, deputy head of the Long Điền – Đất Đỏ Forest Protection Bureau, said the two districts have mountainous terrains and no fences surround the forests, which allows people to enter forests to harvest honey and burn incense, causing forest fires.
Xuyên Mộc District, which has the largest forest area in the province, is also a hotspot for forest fires in the dry season because of alternating residential and forested areas.
Phạm Hữu Phương, deputy head of the Xuyên Mộc Forest Protection Bureau, said the bureau would establish measures to prevent and control forest fires this dry season.
The district has completed the preparation of facilities and human forces for fire prevention and control, he said.
The district will pay more attention to prevent and control forest fires from now to after Tết (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 12, he said.
In the 2019 – 20 dry season, the province had eight forest fire cases, causing damage to 2.1ha of forest, down two cases against the 2018 – 19 dry season. — VNS