HELICOPTERS from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation flew 19 trips to help put out an uncontrollable forest fire on the south side of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park in Chiang Mai province yesterday (March 10) but by nightfall, after spraying 57,000 liters of water, only managed to reduce it by 50 percent, TV Channel 7 said today (March 11).
After that a fire fighting team along with volunteers from Chiang Mai Airport helped by villagers, totallying 200 people, continued fighting the blaze late into the night.
It was reported a man who was suspected to have started this fire was arrested but he denied the charge.
At the sametime staff from Huai Hong Khrai-Khun Mae Kuang Forest Fire Control Station fought a forest fire to the east of Ban Dong Pa Kor, Choeng Doi subdistrict, Doi Saket district, which is part of Mae Takhrai National Park, with over 10 rai gutted by the time it was put out. Officials said the fire was started by villagers who were hunting wild animals.
Chiang Mai Governor Charoenrit Sanguansat has closed all forests from March 1 to April 30 to reduce the problem of forest fires and haze which occurs every dry season. This affects the health of the residents in this northern province as well as tourism.
However villagers in outlying districts seem unconcerned about the law and continue setting fires day and night.
Meanwhile this morning the AirVisual app ranked the air quality of Chiang Mai as the worst in the world, with a reading of 240 US AQI, climbing up from the third spot yesterday.
Top and Home Page: The huge forest fire raging on the south side of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Photos: TV Channel 7