Firefighter dead, two others battling for life in northern forest fire

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

In the relentless battle against raging forest fires sweeping through northern Thailand, tragedy struck as one firefighter lost his life while two others fight for their survival.

The turmoil unfolded amidst 1,153 recorded hotspots in Mae Hong Son from March 1 to 3, with the epicentre of the blaze concentrated in the Pai district and surrounding conserved forests.

Director-General Atthaphon Charoenchansa of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reveals the heart-wrenching loss of Pansak Jaimongkol, an official at Khun Nan National Park, who tragically succumbed to a heart attack during a foot patrol in Nan’s Bo Klua district.

Another fell victim to heatstroke during firefighting efforts, swiftly evacuated from the jungle by vigilant teammates and rushed to hospital. Meanwhile, a third battles a cerebral haemorrhage, clinging to life in the ICU of Chiang Mai Neurological Hospital.

In response to the crisis, Atthaphon issued strict directives, ensuring all firefighting personnel undergo rigorous fitness assessments before deployment, reported Thai PBS World.

Additionally, the department mobilised emergency funds, allocating 272 million baht to enlist villagers at 9,000 baht per head for two and a half months, aiming to alleviate the strain on frontline responders.

In related news, forest fires ablaze along the Thai-Cambodian border ignited chaos, choking Khao Phra Wihan National Park in Sisaket province with clouds of thick smoke and dust particles, forcing a three-day shutdown. The infernos, wreaking havoc on the region’s flora and fauna, including monkeys, bats, and birds, sparked concerns for both tourism and wildlife preservation.

In other news, in a heartwarming gesture of support, the abbot of Wat Lok Moli in Chiang Mai, Phrakhru Paibul Jetiyanurak rallied behind firefighters battling relentless forest fires for over a month. The revered abbot donated a staggering 3,000 eggs to aid park officials and volunteers in their valiant efforts to quell the flames ravaging the province.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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