Police in Ha Tinh Province are set to charge three local men who inadvertently burned down a patch of forest while smoking beehives.
Cao Huy Chuong, 48, Luong Xuan Thinh, 52, and Nguyen Van Suu, 46, face charges of “breaching regulations on fire prevention and fighting,” a crime that carries up to eight years’ imprisonment.
According to investigators, the trio entered the Khe Nhong forest in Huong Son District to collect honey on June 23.
They smoked a hive in a tree and collected the honey, but as they were leaving, they saw smoke rising from the area and realized they had caused a fire.
They tried to put it out but failed. A strong wind then carried the fire to nearby river-leaf creepers and bamboo trees. The trio became scared and fled the scene.
The blaze caused losses estimated at VND250 million ($10,750).
Recently the Ha Tinh police also arrested a 46-year-old man for accidentally setting fire to 30 hectares of forest while burning trash at home and a woman for burning down three hectares of forest while burning grass.
From June 25 to 30, forest fires broke out in the communes of Nghi Xuan, Loc Da, Duc Tho, Huong Son and others in Ha Tinh Province amid recurring heat waves, turning over 250 hectares (617 acres) of forest to ash.