The bare land in this photo is a piece of forest burned on 13 May 2021. Seeing the smoke that morning, Uncle Chau, the village leader, called for other villagers to extinguish the fire. At noon, the fire came back and he called the villagers to continue to extinguish it. Then in the afternoon, the fire continued, and the whole village went to extinguish it. The fire was definitely not made by these villagers because we understand that it will cause natural disasters and floods. Without the canopy of trees, it will be hotter, not to mention the land erosion. One hundred trees in the apple orchard of Sồng A Chứ were burned down; otherwise the apples would have been harvested in August this year. The income from the fruit of each tree is 200,000 dong (9 US dollars), meaning he lost 20 million dong (900 US dollars). About two hectares were burned in the fire despite the efforts to extinguish it. If the fire hadn’t been put out, the whole hill where people were living would have been burned. Probably, people from elsewhere burned the forest to let the weed grow for grazing.

Narrator and photographer: Sồng A Tráng (Hmong, 23 years old)