Dry weather raises fire alert at forests across the country

Dry weather raises fire alert at forests across the country

05 March 2010

published by vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn

Vietnam —   Hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests nationwide are at the highest fire alert during this prolonged period of dry weather, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said yesterday.

Ha Cong Tuan, head of the ministry’s Forest Management Department, said that the ministry had raised fire alerts to their highest levels in 42 cities and provinces such as An Giang, Gia Lai, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lam Dong, Binh Phuoc, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Hoa Binh and Lang Son, Dong Nai, Kon Tum, Nghe An, Quang Ngai, Yen Bai and Ca Mau.

U Minh Ha National Park is an example of the seriousness of these fire risks.

Le Van Hai, deputy head of southern most Ca Mau Province’s Forest Management Department, said that more than 36,000ha of forests in the U Minh Ha National Park were at their highest fire alerts, after two small fires took place in recent days due to slash-and-burn farming.

Ta Vu Linh, deputy director of the park, said that the dry season this year had come earlier than usual, so all the canals in the park had been dry. Many lianas had also died and dried out, adding to the dry layer of vegetation, which coupled with the peat layer was highly susceptible to fire.

Linh said that to decrease risks, the park had been shut down to prevent people from accessing the forest. Also, nearly 2,000 people were on duty 24/7.

The ministry urged all localities to implement preventative measures to combat forest fires by entrusting more people to carry out regular patrols in the forests, equipping more modern fire prevention equipment and making plans to combat fires when they happened.

Le Viet Dung, deputy head of southern Dong Nai Province’s Forest Management Department, said that more forces had been mobilised to make checks on forests, and the province had equipped dozens of machines to create wind and urged people not to practise slash-and-burn farming.

Tran Van Mui, director of Dong Nai Province’s Biodiversity Conservation Area, said that more than 1,500 households had made agreements to strictly protect the forests.

Tuan blamed the El Nino climate system as the main factor causing the prolonged dry weather, and raising average temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees across the country.

“The problem has been compounded by low rainfalls,” said Tuan, adding that more than 70 per cent of the forest fires had occurred because people practised slash-and-burn farming.

The Viet Nam Environment and Hydrometeorology Science Institute said that El Nino weather was forecast to last through May, so high temperatures and droughts would continue to take place.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien