Making news

Mekong Delta acts to prevent forest fires in dry season

Authorities in the Mekong Delta are setting up firebreaks, preparing equipment and putting up warning boards as the area’s forests face a high risk of fire in the dry season.

An Giang province’s authorities have raised the fire risk to the fourth level, out of a total of five, as the risk of large forest fires increases, especially in cajuput forests in mountainous districts.

The province has prepared firefighting facilities, including trucks to transport firefighters, fire extinguishers, pumps, and water containers on the top of mountains.

Truong Minh Hung, deputy head of An Giang province’s Forest Protection Sub-department, said that forest owners had prepared well for fire prevention.

The sub-department has set up seven firebreaks with a combined total area of 27ha in Cam and Phu Cuong mountains and Tra Su cajeput forest. It plans to carry out prescribed fires on a total of 23ha to create firebreaks by the end of this month. 

The dry, hot weather could lead to forest fires in the mountainous areas of Thoai Son, Tri Ton and Tinh Bien districts and Chau Doc city.

The province has 16,868ha of forested land, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nguyen Sy Lam, director of the department, said that organisations and locals were allowed to protect and use forested land.

The province’s forests play a crucial role in protecting the environment, and promoting socio-economic and tourism development, he said. 

According to the National Centre for Hydro -Meteorology Forecast, the southern region may face a shortage of water between February and May because of a decline in rainfall.

Other provinces like Tien Giang, Long An, Kien Giang and Ca Mau have also taken steps to prevent forest fires.

In Ca Mau, the Forest Protection Sub-department has made preparations during the dry season which normally lasts between November and May.

The province has set up plans to use available staff and facilities to fight forest fires, including 101 pumps, water pipes with a total length of 62,335 metres, and 12 fire trucks.

It has installed 25 warning boards at crossroads and near forests, and set up 64 permanent fire watching towers and 23 temporary towers in forests to monitor forest fires.

Besides natural occurrences such as lightning, human activities like burning fields, harvesting honey and hunting wild animals are the major causes behind forests fires in Ca Mau.

Ca Mau’s Forest Protection Sub-department has also increased the number of patrols so that fires can be extinguished quickly before they spread.

The province’s forest management boards have encouraged local households living near forests to take steps to prevent fires in the dry season and clear flammable materials around their houses.

Ca Mau has more than 53,000ha of forests in the U Minh Ha National Park and islands, which have a high risk of forest fires in the dry season.