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An Giang province forests face extreme fire risk

The Mekong Delta province of An Giang is facing the fifth level of forest fire risk, the extreme danger level, according to the provincial Forest Protection Sub-department.

It has faced prolonged dry weather and drought, and its forests are threatened by the risk of large fires, said the sub-department.

It has identified that nearly 7,370ha, or more than 43% of its forests, have high fire risk, according to the provincial Steering Committee for Climate Change Response, Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, and Civil Defence.

The forests are located mostly in mountainous districts of Tinh Bien and Tri Ton and the city of Chau Doc.

Tinh Bien has 2,912ha of forests facing high fire risk and Tri Ton, 4,000ha.

The sub-department has taken measures, such as preparing facilities and human resources, to prevent and control forest fires in mountainous districts.

Tran Phu Hoa, head of the sub-department, said police and army forces, rangers and forest owners are determined to prevent and control forest fires by mobilising resources in each locality.

To prevent fires in forests located in flat areas, the sub-department has instructed forest owners and relevant units to store water in canals in forests and clean flammable materials from forests, he said.

It is providing consultancy for local authorities to implement forest fire prevention and control, and is also tightening advocacy activities to enhance the awareness of the public about fire-prone forests, he said.

The province had 12 forests fires on a total of 5.79ha in the first quarter of this year. The fires were discovered and extinguished promptly, according to the sub-department.

An Giang has nearly 16,870ha of forests and forest-zoned land, including 1,577ha of special use forests, 11,550ha of protected forests and 3,741ha of productive forests.

Its forests play an important role in protecting the environment and biodiversity, promoting social-economic development, and protecting security and border defence./.