Drought puts many provinces at extreme risk of forest fires

Drought puts many provinces at extreme risk of forest fires

25 February 2011

published by www.vietnamnews.com.vn

Vietnam — Thirteen provinces throughout the country are listed as being under dire threat of forest fires, according to the Department of Forest Management under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Prolonged dry weather has been attributed as the main cause for the concern.

People’s Committees at all levels have been asked to deploy immediate measures to prevent forest fires.

Nguyen Huu Dung, deputy head of the department, said they were organising fire watch teams and emergency response teams to monitor forests throughout the country.

The northern province of Bac Giang’s Department of Forest Management said that they were co-operating with the provincial People’s Committee to provide personnel and firefighting resources.

Local authorities have been asked to organise continuous patrols, guide local people in the safe use of slash-and-burn agriculture and monitor potential fire hotspots.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is to keep locals updated on potential forest fire threats.

Strict punishment would be imposed on people found illegally starting fires in wooded land.

Besides Bac Giang, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Dong Nai, Gia Lai and Kien Giang were also on the at risk list.

Statistics from Department of Forest Management show that there were 897 forest fire cases last year, 262 per cent higher than 2009, destroying an approximate 5,668 hectares of woodland nationwide. — VNS

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