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Forest in north-central Vietnam still burning, three days after wildfire broke out

Forest in north-central Vietnam still burning, three days after wildfire broke out

Sunday, June 30, 2019, 16:14 GMT+7
Forest in north-central Vietnam still burning, three days after wildfire broke out
Smoke billows from a forest fire in Nghi Xuan District, located in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh on June 30, 2019. Photo: Van Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Wildfires have been raging across a pine tree forest in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh for the past three days, with local authorities doing their utmost to control the flames and evacuate local residents from dangerous areas.

The forest fire in Nghi Xuan District did not show any sign of weakening as of Sunday afternoon.

It broke out at around 1:00 pm on Friday and has burned down tens of hectares of the forest, according to Pham Tien Hung, deputy chairman of the district administration.

Thousands of people including military soldiers, firefighting police and border guard officers, and local residents have joined the effort to put out the fire but the sunny, dry weather and strong winds have posed a lot of challenges.

The blaze was previously put under temporary control on Friday night but it flared up in the area again on Saturday, as outdoor temperatures reached up to 40 Celsius degrees.

Competent authorities prevent the fire from spreading to nearby houses. Photo: Van Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Soldiers prevent the fire from spreading to nearby houses. Photo: Van Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Local authorities are now focusing on protecting nearby residential areas from being devoured by the inferno.

Local residents are being evacuated to safer zones.

Officers have arrested Phan Dinh Thanh, a 46-year-old resident in Xuan Hong Commune, Nghi Xuan District, for allegedly starting the wildfire.

Thanh admitted to burning garbage in his backyard, before the flame spread to the forest.

Meanwhile, the forest fire erupted in Huong Son District on Friday had yet to be extinguished as of Sunday morning.

More than 500 people have been mobilized to try to put it under control.

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