Wildfires in Thailand’s Western Forest Complex reduced by 40%

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has reported a significant reduction in wildfires within Thailand’s Western Forest Complex, attributing the success to integrated efforts from various sectors which reduced wildfires by over 40%.

Director of Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression, Narupon Thipmonta revealed that the most affected area was the Srinakarin Dam National Park in Kanchanaburi Province.

This park, which spans the districts of Sai Yok, Si Sawat, and Thong Pha Phum, is a key conservation area featuring diverse natural attractions, including the Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall, hot springs, caves, and a lake. The park’s rugged terrain and extensive water regions pose significant challenges during wildfire events.

Narupon noted that the primary obstacle in firefighting has been the difficult terrain, which delays the arrival of personnel at the fire sites. The complex landscape, dominated by water bodies, necessitates extensive travel, complicating efforts to control and extinguish fires promptly.

The main causes of wildfires in the Western Forest Complex have been identified as illegal hunting, forest product gathering, and the clearing of land for livestock grazing. Local livestock farmers often set fires to clear the underbrush and create grassy fields for their animals, inadvertently causing uncontrolled wildfires that spread across vast areas.

To address the wildfire problems, an integrated approach involving multiple sectors has been implemented. Collaboration among the Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, local administrative organisations, and forest fire control stations has been crucial.

Teams, including the elite Tiger Firefighting foot patrols, have been deployed to control the fires. Additionally, helicopters from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment have been utilised.

Narupon attributes the successes in wildfire reduction to the integrated efforts and cooperation from all relevant sectors, which he considers an effective and triumphant effort, reported KhaoSod.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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