New fire threatens Lao Cai forest

New fire threatens Lao Cai forest

14 February 2010

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Viet Nam — A national park in Lao Cai Province is threatened by fire again as a new blaze in neighboring Lai Chau Province was sparked Friday.

Lo Van Giang, chairman of the northern province of Lai Chau, has arrived at the foot of O Quy Ho hill to direct the forces to stop the fire, which spread across the hill in several hours due to strong winds and dry weather.

As of Friday night, the fire was still strong as local streams had dried up after months without a drop of rain, Giang said.

Firefighting forces from Lao Cai were sent to the hill and three special fire fighting brigades have been established in the province to deal with the fire.

Authorities said it was possible that the fire could spread to the center of Hoang Lien National Park.

Thousands of people in Lao Cai just managed to extinguish an earlier wildfire that threatened to damage Hoang Lien after destroying more than 1,000 hectares of forest as of Thursday.

Deputy head of the Lao Cai party unit Sung Chung said there were reports that around 3,000 hectares had been burnt by the previous fire but the figure was just a estimate.

Hoang Lien National Park, which was recognized as an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2006, is home to many rare and red-listed animal and plant species.

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