Festivities suspended after forest blaze engulfs 30 hectares in Sa Pa

Reports from Sa Pa Town indicate that approximately 30 hectares of forest in Hoang Lien National Park have been affected by fires, with the situation now largely under control and the Roong Pooc Festival's festivities suspended.

Earlier, on the evening of February 20, Mr. Trinh Xuan Truong, Chairman of the Lao Cai Provincial People's Committee, visited the site in Ta Van Commune (Sa Pa Town) to personally oversee firefighting operations and rescue efforts in Hoang Lien forest.

The Chairman of Lao Cai Province has reported that by the afternoon of February 20, the fires had been effectively contained, preventing their spread into the natural and old-growth forests at the core of Hoang Lien National Park. Only one small fire remains in a challenging-to-reach area on a high cliff.

Only one small fire remains in a challenging-to-reach area on a high cliff.

With the wind intensity decreasing and weather conditions improving, the likelihood of this remaining fire spreading further is now low. The frontline command has deployed a coordinated force comprising police, military personnel, local militias, and residents to remain vigilant and prevent any potential re-ignition of the fires. The Chairman of Lao Cai Province emphasized the importance of all forces remaining alert and proactive in their duties.

In case of adverse conditions leading to a potential flare-up, the Chairman of Lao Cai Province has directed the implementation of a back-burning strategy to contain the fire.

As of now, preliminary estimates suggest that the fires in Hoang Lien National Park have resulted in damage to approximately 30 hectares of depleted forests, primarily composed of cogongrass, hardy sugar cane, and ground vegetation, along with around 4 hectares of third-year replacement forests. This area had previously experienced a fire in 2012.

Forces fight the Hoang Lien forest fire overnight.

Given the intricate situation surrounding the fires in Hoang Lien forest, on the afternoon of February 20, Ms. Hoang Thi Vuong, Head of the Department of Culture and Sports of Sa Pa Town, issued an urgent notice to modify the scale of the Roong Pooc Festival of the Giay ethnic community in Ta Van Commune, to mobilize and concentrate manpower for firefighting efforts in the forest.

As per the schedule, the Roong Pooc Festival in Ta Van Commune will occur tomorrow, February 22 (the 13th day of the first lunar month). However, the event will undergo modifications, with only the ceremonial rituals based on traditional beliefs being observed, while all other festivities will be suspended.

Other news