Two local men have been arrested after being caught red-handed setting fire on a large area of protected forests on Phu Quoc Island, off the southern province of Kien Giang.
The men had chopped down trees on the 2,700 square meter forest area in Ganh Gio Hamlet, Cua Duong Commune before burning them, local forest rangers said Friday.
The affected area belongs to the island’s protected forests, the rangers added.
Shortly after noticing smoke billowing out of the forests, rangers and local firefighters were dispatched to the scene, but it took them as long as three hours to put out the fire.
According to the testimonies of the forest destroyers, they had been hired by a resident in Duong Dong Town, located approximately 10km away from Cua Duong, for the job.
The identity of the hirer is not immediately available, according to the park rangers.
Friday’s incident was the third case so far this year when forests on Phu Quoc were found to be destroyed and burned, with the affected areas totaling three hectares, according to Huynh Long Hai, head of the Phu Quoc Forest Protection Agency.