Army chopper to battle Loei fires

Army chopper to battle Loei fires

The army is deploying a helicopter as part of efforts to suppress wildfires in Phu Kradueng National Park in Loei province, which is suffering its worst forest fires in 17 years.

Maj Gen Thanya Kiatisa, head of the Second Army Region, told media on Tuesday that a Russian-made twin-engine Mil Mi-17 helicopter would join fire-suppression efforts, following a request from Loei's governor.

Governor Chaiwat Chuenkosum asked for two army helicopters and machinery to build a firebreak and carry water into the mountainous area.

One blaze which started on Sunday destroyed 3,400 rai of forest in the 44,325-rai park before being extinguished by firefighters early this week.

Varawut Silpa-archa, minister of natural resources and environment, yesterday confirmed the blaze had been put out.

Sombat Pimprasit, head of the national park, said no animal carcasses had been found, adding that the damaged forest would recover naturally.

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