Authorities heightened the fire risk alert to its ultimate level in the Mekong Deltaââ‚¬â„¢s U Minh Ha National Park Thursday.
Nguyen Van The, director of the park in Ca Mau Province, raised the fire alert to level 5, saying the forest is in ââ‚¬Å“extreme dangerââ‚¬ of brushfires.
Hot spells have turned the creepers crawling over cajuput trees in the forest yellow after the dry season arrived early this year.
The park has stopped receiving visitors temporarily. Only a small number of residents who cultivate land in the park have been let in to harvest their crops.
Guards inside the park are not allowed to leave either. They have planted vegetables and caught fish in the forest to better their meals.
Ca Mau Province has promised to give VND200,000 (US$10.55) as a bonus to each guard watching out for forest fires.
In related news, Lao Cai Province authorities in the north said on Wednesday that the fire which destroyed around 1,700 hectares of Hoang Lien National Park from February 8-15 might have started when local residents burnt their field to start a new crop.
Still, an official conclusion has not yet been reached.
Dozens of hectares of forest in the neighboring Lai Chau Province were also burnt in the fire. It was the biggest forest fire in Lao Cai since 1971.
Source: Tuoi Tre