El Nino increases risk of Phuket forest fires

PHUKET: The Phuket Environmental Health Center has issued a warning that global weather changes resulting from El Nino and increased global pollution will increase the risk of forest fires on the island during the coming dry season.

Ongart Chanacharnmongkol, Director of the Phuket Environmental Health Center, said, “We will be at the greatest risk of forest fires than we have been for the past nine years. If the El Nino effect does not diminish, the forest fire season next year will continue through to June.”

Although Phuket rarely experiences natural forest fires, he said, the island is at risk of blazes igniting from November to May, with the peak danger period being during the island’s driest months – from February to April.

To help control the forest fires, the Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department request that people refrain from starting fires near any forest. For controlled burns, the department recommends creating a backfire to control the spread of the flames.

To report a forest fire call the 24-hour hotline at Tel: 1362.

Phuket News
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