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Extreme heat fuels wildfire risk in Vietnam’s northwest

Extreme heat fuels wildfire risk in Vietnam’s northwest

Thursday, April 20, 2023, 14:14 GMT+7
Extreme heat fuels wildfire risk in Vietnam’s northwest
A wildfire in Sin Ho District, Lai Chau Province, northern Vietnam, April 18, 2023. Photo: A. Kien / Tuoi Tre

Northwestern Vietnam is experiencing temperatures as high as over 40 degrees Celsius, creating a high risk of wildfires in many parts of the region

Extreme heat broiled northwestern Vietnam on Tuesday and Wednesday, with several districts in Son La Province suffering from temperatures as high as 41 degrees Celsius. 

Meanwhile other northwestern provinces saw mercury hit 40 degrees Celsius.

Hundreds of wildfires were reported in the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to statistics from the forest protection agency.

Son La recorded 363 wildfires while Dien Bien and Lai Chau Provinces battled 475 and 224 wildfires, respectively.

The leader of the People’s Committee of Sin Ho District in Lai Chau on Tuesday said that a wildfire broke out in Pa Tan Commune at 1:40 pm.

Some 100 firefighters were quickly dispatched and put the blaze under control in three hours. The fire burned about one hectare of forestland.

As such, Lai Chau issued an urgent telegram, asking officials and rangers to tighten their patrols and prepare their vehicles and equipment for unexpected wildfires.

Authorities in the province have also ordered residents to suspend rice-field and dump burning activities while the heatwave continues.

Vietnam has 48 alarming wildfire-prone sites in Son La, Hoa Binh, and Lai Chau in the northern region, as well as in some localities in the central and Central Highlands parts, according to data from the Forest Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Heat forecast to last through weekend

The northwestern region and several provinces from Thanh Hoa to Phu Yen could experience heatwaves with temperatures ranging from 36 to 40 degrees Celsius on Thursday, according to the national weather center.

Heat is forecast to hit the country’s northeastern region on Friday.

Extreme heat in these areas will not end until Sunday, according to the national weather center.

Intense heat and low humidity, plus southwest monsoons, raise a high risk of wildfires as well as fires and explosions in residential areas due to the soaring consumption of power.

The high temperatures can lead to increased health problems, dehydration, exhaustion, and heatstroke.  

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Tieu Bac - Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre News

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