A mental patient allegedly, and
inexplicably, burned down 10 hectares of forest in the central province of Quang
Ngai on Thursday.
Local residents stopped the
fire, but not until after it had engulfed large swathes of land.
The fire started at around noon
in the mountainous Tay Tra District and burnt for five hours, destroying many
iron wood trees two to three years old.
More than 100 local residents
had helped fire fighters and authorities extinguish the fire.
Each of the residents was
awarded VND1 million (US$53).
Investigators found that Ho Van
De, who is being treated for mental and physical problems at a local medical
station, had started the fire.
De had burnt more than one
hectare of forest a month ago, more than a kilometer from the new spot.
Some young men who lost trees to
the fire beat him and broke his legs after the latest incident.