Fire extinguished in primeval heritage forest

Fire extinguished in primeval heritage forest

17 February 2010

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Viet Nam — Forest fire in Hoang Lien National Park, a primeval forest that covers nearly 30,000 ha and recognised as an ASEAN Heritage Park, in the northwestern province of Lao Cai was finally extinguished.

The rescue force stamped out the last flame at the peak of 2,400 m on the western side of Hoang Lien mountain at noon of Feb. 15, the second day of the lunar New Year festival.

Later on the day, the forest fire control steering committee of the neighbouring Lai Chau province also putted out the fire on Hoang Lien Son peak after four days of firefighting.

The committee said the blaze, spread from a fire at the Hoang Lien National Park, destroyed 3.5 hectares of grass cover, according to initial statistics.

All burns were kept under control and troops were withdrawn, it added.

However, 100 soldiers from the Military Zone 2 are still on the watch until Feb. 17.

According to satellite data, the fire ravaged about 700 hectares of forest. But, an initial report said about 1,700ha of forest were burnt, including 1,000 ha at Ban Ho and Ta Van villages, 700ha in the area between Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces. The destroyed areas are mainly alang grass and replanted forests, and the area of the primeval forest is small.

Because of forecast dry weather, the People’s Committee of Lao Cai province has order to temporarily halt visits of tourists to the National Park.

Reasons of the forest fire are still under investigations.

The fire started in a forest in Ma Quy Ho village on Feb. 8 and quickly spread to the surrounding villages of Seo Choong Ho and Seo Mi Ty of Lao Cai province.

It was reported to be moving toward the centre of the Hoang Lien National Park.

The fire had spread to nearby Lai Chau province’s Tam Duong District on Feb. 11 although it was brought under control after scorching 200 ha of forest.

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