On Friday, four forest fires broke out in the communes of Huong Tra and Huong Thuy in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, spreading across over 100 hectares (247 acres) of pine and acacia trees.
A series of forest fires were also reported the same day in many central provinces and cities, from Da Nang to Ha Tinh, threatening the 500kV transmission line. This forced Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to cut power in many places to ensure safety and allow the firefighting forces to carry out their task.
Authorities in Thua Thien-Hue mobilized a team of more than 1,000 people, including forest rangers, firefighters, policemen and soldiers to put out the blaze. Some reserve soldiers were also dispatched.
After extinguishing the fire from the edge of a forest, policemen pull a water hose deeper inside. The hose could not be placed on the ground because it was very hot.
A police officer uses a tree branch in the firefight. The cause of the fire is still unclear, but the central region has been going through a prolonged heat wave, with temperatures peaking at 39 degrees Celcius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) on recent days and forecast to reach 40 degrees this weekend. The scorching weather has increased the risks of forest fires.
Authorities ordered a mass evacuation for fear that the fire could spread to households nearby.
After more than eight hours of battle, the fire at the pine forest area in Huong Ho Commune was extinguished late at night.
Around 1 p.m. Friday, a fire broke out at a pine forest in Nghi Xuan District in Ha Tinh Province and spread out to forests nearby. Local authorities mobilized more than 1,000 people to fight against the blaze.
Until 10:30 p.m. the fire in Ha Tinh was put under control. The fire broke out again at 3 a.m. and has been extinghuished after destroying five hectares of forest. A man in Ha Tinh has been held for investigation as police suspected that he caused the fire by burning his garden.
Weather forecasters predicted that the heat wave in the central region is expected end on July 2 and the risk of forest fires is still very high in the coming days.
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