Forest fire put out in Vietnam national park

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A fire began in Hoang Lien National Park Sunday afternoon / Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre Newspaper

Authorities in the northwestern mountain province of Lao Cai Monday managed to put out a fire which had started in a national park a day earlier.

More than 300 militiamen and 200 soldiers joined hands to put it out at 4 p.m.

Local residents had discovered the fire in Ban Ho Commune’s Ta Trung Ho village, which lies in the buffer zone of the Hoang Lien Son National Park.

The park is home to Fansipan, the tallest peak in Indochina.

The forest is located more than 1,500 meters above sea level and 30 km from Sa Pa, the popular tourist town.

The blaze spread quickly in the forest which had vast areas of dry vegetation. Due to difficulty in reaching the site, it took firefighting forces around three hours to get to the fire.

The extent of loss has yet to be estimated, and authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

On January 24 the park management had told travel companies not to bring tourists until the end of March while it cleans up, restores the area, and carries out anti-fire measures.

It said that sleet and frost last December had knocked down many large trees and destroyed roads leading to the park, and plants have dried up, posing a serious risk of bush fires.

According to Lao Cai forestry authorities, more than 30,000 hectares (74,573 acres) of forests in Sa Pa and Bat Xat districts are at risk of bush fire during the dry season. 

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