Fires at Khao Laem in Nakhon Nayok under control, but still burning


Bushfires at Khao Laem in Thailand’s Nakhon Nayok province are now under control, but they are still burning in limited area, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa said tonight (Thursday).

He explained that “fires under control” means that fires are burning within limited area and they will be allowed to burn themselves out, adding that dropping water onto the fires helps to reduce the heat for fire fighters.

The minister said that he has instructed Atthaphon Charoenchansa, the acting director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, to check satellite images to find out the origin of the fires at Khao Laem.

If the fire originates from one location, it could be assumed that it was caused by nature, such as lightning. If fires started at several locations, it could be assumed that humans lit them, said Varawut.

Hundreds of troops and some aircraft helped fight the fires at Khao Laem, behind the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy today, and they succeeded in preventing them from spreading.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan is due to visit the province tomorrow (Friday) to hold discussions with authorities, to map out measures to control the bushfires and to prepare shelters, in case people living near Khao Laem need to be evacuated.

Atthaphon Charoenchansa admitted today that fire fighters can, at best, control the fires within the confines of Khao Cha Phlu, Khao Laem and Khao Tabaek by building firebreaks and using water dropped from helicopters.

He said that the fires are now about 2km from Khao Yai National Park and officials there have been put on red alert to prevent the fires from spreading into the park.

Fires have already destroyed about 96 hectares of forest.

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