Localities step up measures against forest fires

Tuesday, 2018-04-17 15:52:08
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Yok Don National Park’s rangers (Buon Don district, Dak Lak province) discuss forest fire prevention plans for the 2018 dry season. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Localities that have forests throughout the nation take action towards preventing and fighting against forest fires during the dry season each year. However, unfortunately forest blazes still occur, presenting profound lessons for the relevant functional forces and the community.

In 2016, dozens of forest fires broke out, causing damage to more than 3,000 ha of forest. In 2017, a year in which great efforts were made in forest fire prevention and control, the country still experienced 182 wildfires, damaging a total forest area of over 350 ha.

Since the beginning of 2018, even in the early hot season, forest fires have occurred in several localities, such as Binh Thuan, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Lai Chau, Lang Son, Dien Bien and Hai Phong. The incidents, although not causing great damage to people and resources, reflect the extreme weather conditions and the limited responsibilities of the local communities in places where the forest fires occurred.

In order to minimise the damage caused by forest fires, forested localities have been urged to immediately implement forest firefighting plans, while urgently mobilising local forces and assign specific tasks onsite to directly guide the work.

Meanwhile, the local authorities at all levels should regularly maintain information campaigns on forest fire prevention and fighting within the communities and organise daily standing forces to cover the surveillance work. Adequate personnel and means need to be made available to provide timely support for forest fire fighting work in the case of major blazes.

Binh Dinh province’s firefighters swiftly control a forest fire in Ba Hoa Mountain, Quy Nhon city in early April. (Photo: NDO/Dinh Thung)

Against the high risk of forest fires in the hot and dry weather, the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VAF) has issued an urgent telegraph urging localities nationwide to take drastic measures to prevent and control forest fires. It noted that the current hot and drought conditions are progressing in a complicated manner, putting many forested localities at extremely dangerous risk of forest fires.

In its urgent message, the VAF asked the local Forest Protection Departments to urgently organise working missions and coordinate with the authorities in areas at high risk of forest fires to direct, inspect and promote the implementation of forest fire prevention and fighting.

It suggested that forest owners actively reduce flammable materials in forests, while renovating the anti-fire belts and upgrading the firefighting facilities.

The units concerned were asked to review and identify key forest fires in their prevention plans, set up stations to control human activities in the forests and organise guard stations, patrols and vehicles and prepare specific fire-fighting plans. They were also asked to keep their forces ready around the clock to detect fires in time and guide tourists in high risk areas.

Forest fires deplete resources, cause environmental pollution and economic damage, while seriously affecting society. The consequences are not easy to overcome, taking dozens of years. For that reason, active prevention is the top priority for the entire community, especially in hot weather and at fire-prone forests.

Furthermore, the concerned authorities, functional forces and local people need to expeditiously carry out effective forest fire fighting measures to minimise the damage caused by forest blazes.