Forest fire kills another firefighting volunteer in northern Thailand

A firefighting volunteer was tragically caught in the flames while extinguishing a forest fire in Nan province in northern Thailand yesterday, where a thick layer of smog continues to blanket the region.

The body of 62 year old Sriwan Mirayot was found in the forests surrounding Doi Sa-ngud mountain in the Bor Suak subdistrict in Mueang Nan district. His fellow volunteers say that Sriwan was caught in the flames when the wind suddenly changed.

As a member of the Ban Chiang Yuen Community Forest Committee, Sriwan received a request to help control a fire near a community from Decha Khrongdi, the chief of Ban Na Mon village, according to the Head of the Fire Hawk Special Operations Unit Pol. Sgt. Pratthana Meethongkhao.

Chairman of the Ban Chiang Yuen Community Forest Committee, Supachai Champarat, and six volunteers were deployed to prevent the fire – inside the Na Sao National Forest Reserve – from reaching Ban Don Udom village.

The governor of Nan province, Wiboon Waewbundit, requested the relevant agencies to take care of the deceased’s family.

On Friday, a forest fire inside Khun Khan National Park in Chiang Mai province claimed the life of another volunteer, 39 year old Wichai Thimakham, who was deemed to die from suffocation.

The acting director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Atthaphon Charoenchansa, said Wichai and his group had been working between Ban Pok and Ban Pong Khrai villages to combat the forest fires since Thursday evening.

According to IQAir, Chiang Mai held the position as the most polluted city in the world for nine days straight by PM2.5 pollution levels. The website ranks air quality levels in 100 ‘major cities’ worldwide.

The highest air quality index (AQI) value was found at the Health Hospital in Ban Khai Hospital in Mae Na Wang subdistrict, Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai province, measuring at a hazardous 411 μg/m3.

In Chiang Rai province, where air quality is just as bad, 34 year old firefighting volunteer Thanu Tuinoi fell down the mountain and injured his shoulder blade and left arm.

Another volunteer, 61 year old Abu Khaewkong, also slipped and hit a rock, breaking five ribs, while returning from extinguishing a forest fire on Crocodile Mountain in Chiang Rai.

On Monday, Thailand’s Pollution Control Department said that air pollution currently exceeds the standard in 20 provinces: Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nan, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, Phichit, Lamphun, Lampang, Phrae, Nong Khai, Loei, Udon Thani, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bua Lamphu, Ubon Ratchathani, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Tak, Khamphaeng Phet.

Northern Thailand NewsThailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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