Wildfire spread across forests in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh on Thursday for the third time in less than two weeks, this time due to local residents burning tree branches to make space for new trees.
The flames broke out in Huong Son District, Ha Tinh Province at around 8:00 pm on Thursday, Nguyen Van Thanh, head of the district’s forest protection unit, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“It first started in an acacia tree forest in Son Truong Commune and quickly spread to Son Phuc Commune,” Thanh elaborated.
Hundreds of officers and local residents joined hands to battle the flames and subdue the blaze later that night, the official stated.
The wildfire was caused by local residents burning fallen branches to clear the area and plant new trees in the forest.
An investigation into the case will be carried out, Thanh said, adding that it is illegal to burn green vegetation at this time of the year.
Between June 28 and July 1, a total of 12 wildfires destroyed more than 267 hectares of forest in multiple districts in Ha Tinh, including Huong Son.
Thousands of people had to work relentlessly day and night to keep the situation under control.
Local authorities arrested a 46-year-old man for burning garbage that led to the wildfire in Nghi Xuan District, the most devastating of the 12 forest fires.
Another flame broke out in Huong Son District on the morning of July 8 and was intensified by the hot and dry weather.
The inferno was put out the following morning thanks to the relentless effort of competent authorities and locals.