U Minh Ha Forest faces fire risk

U Minh Ha Forest faces fire risk

11 March 2009

published by www.saigon-gpdaily.com.vn

Vietnam — U Minh Ha Forest, in the Mekong Delta, is facing a heightened risk of fires due to hot weather and tinder-dry conditions, according to National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecast.

The management team of the U Minh Ha cajuput forest said at the current time 14,000 hectares were in drought condition, with 13,000 hectares placed on the 2-3 risk of fire level. The remaining forest has been placed on 4-5, danger level.

The danger posed by forest fires is very high with the current warm, dry weather.

The management said about 130 dams have been built to retain water and reduce the threat of fire. Pumps, water tanks, fire equipment and watchtowers are in place throughout the Delta to protect the forest.

The forest management has ordered local authorities to cooperate with the forest watch teams, police and local residents who have been put on duty in high-risk areas.

Residents have also been forbidden to light fires in the forest.
In related news, the Mekong delta is facing problems from deep penetration of seawater into the mainland.

The presence of seawater will affect farm production and other activities in coastal provinces, such as Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh and Soc Trang.

Seawater has flown 35-50 kilometers inland on previous occasions.

The forest management has asked local forest watch teams to take preventive measures and be on standby to fight fires at any time.

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