Vietnam urgently preventing wildfires due to extreme weather

Since the beginning of the 2024 dry season, multiple forest fires have happened across the country. The abnormally hot weather at present is posing even more risks to these sensitive areas.

The forest ranger force of Phu Yen Province is preparing equipment for fire prevention (Photo: SGGP)

After a full day trying to put out the fire, in the afternoon of April 11, the wildfire at Farm 402 was basically under control; yet smoke was still rising, and fire still smoldered under the half-burnt top-layer vegetation, leading to a high chance of flaring up.

Director Phan Hoang Vu of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Ca Mau Province informed that the firefighter teams are still on guard to prevent this flaring-up. This fire has already destroyed 40ha of 5-year-old Melaleuca forest managed by Farm 402 of the Logistics Department (under the Military Region 9).

State management in Ca Mau Province has warned local inhabitants near natural forests and management units to prioritize wildfire prevention and take full responsibility for any forest fires happening there. The Forest Firefighter Force and Forest Ranger Force are instructed to ensure available water in case of a wildfire.

Ca Mau Province now manages nearly 143,700ha of forest land, one-third of which are under high risk of fire (in U Minh Ha Forest and the one on Hon Khoai Island). Among them, about 15,700ha are at level-4 alert and 8,727ha at level 5 (extremely high risk). These land pieces are under the management of U Minh Ha Forestry Co. Ltd, U Minh Ha National Park, Ca Mau Province Forestry Seed Center, Southwest Forestry Experimental Research Center, and Cai Tau Prison.

Continuous wildfire in Phu Quoc City of Kien Giang Province yesterday destroyed 2,000 square meters of protection forest in Sub-zone 79 (Phu Quoc Protection Forest). This is the 7th in the city since the beginning of this year, causing severe economic damages to the province.

According to the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Kien Giang Province, besides the forests in Phu Quoc City, more than 10,300ha of forest, including 7,000ha of protection forest, in Hon Dat District are also at high risk.

Hon Dat District has trained its Forest Firefighter Force and Forest Ranger Force while asking local residents near these forests or forest owners to sign an agreement to protect these forest land lots. The district has closed its sluice gates and built 15 dams to store water in case of wildfire. It has also cleaned 2,100 square meters of canals inside the melaleuca forest. Three water pump stations have been constructed and are available around the clock for firefighting tasks.

Fighting wildfire overnight at Farm 402 in Ca Mau Province (Photo: SGGP)

In the central provinces of Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, local inhabitants have had to endure extremely hot weather these days. The risk of wildfire in these localities is tremendously high. Head Le Duc Sau of the Forest Protection Department of Binh Dinh Province shared that all forest areas in 11 districts and cities of the province are at their high alert level, particular in re-grown ones since people have a bad habit of burning the top-layer vegetation to prepare for their next crop. The province has strictly forbidden this action and is on guard 24/7 to timely handle any detected wildfire.

Phu Yen Province is actively trying to cope with possible forest fire. It has directed forest ranger forces in 9 districts and cities to frequently report the status of local forests, prepared sufficient equipment for firefighting and fire monitoring measures, and maintained anti-fire-spreading spaces.

The forest ranger force in Quang Ngai Province has issued alerts of wildfire in the districts of Binh Son and Duc Pho. The People’s Committee of the province asks that forest owners check the availability of water sources near their forest land in case of wildfire. Top-layer vegetation burning near production forests is strictly prohibited.

Dak Nong Province is now in charge of more than 248,000ha of forest, four-fifths of which are natural one. Due to prolonged heat, in the first 3 months of this year, there were 22 wildfires in the province while others are at high risk. Therefore, the People’s Committee of the province requests that all localities increase the efficiency of their firefighting and forest management tasks. The whole political system of the province is called upon to carry out fire protection missions (stopping illegal forest destruction and eliminating wildfire).

Bao Loc City and Dam Rong District of Lam Dong Province are at level-5 alert of wildfire. Meanwhile, Da Lat City and the districts of Duc Trong, Di Linh, Bao Lam, Da Teh, Cat Tien are at level-4 one. The provincial People’s Committee directs the leaders of all localities to adopt suitable measures and assign sufficient human resources to guard the hotspots of wildfire and those forest land lots of level-3 alert and above. Local forces should be ready to fight against forest fires when necessary.

Seeing that many forests in the districts of Ia Grai and Chu Puh are at high risk of wildfire, the People’s Committee of Gia Lai Province has increased patrols and monitoring tasks while instructing local inhabitants about correct ways to use fire inside or at the border of forests. Top-layer vegetation burning must not happen at all costs. There must be measures to evacuate people when necessary to ensure the safety of both life and assets during wildfires.

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