Fires still raging in Kaeng Krachan National Park

Fires still raging in Kaeng Krachan National Park

A helicopter scoops water from Huay Pa Lao reservoir to dump on the fire burning in Pa La-oo Noi forest, part of Kaeng Krachan National Park. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
A helicopter scoops water from Huay Pa Lao reservoir to dump on the fire burning in Pa La-oo Noi forest, part of Kaeng Krachan National Park. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN -- The National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department is making an all out effort to combat wildfires still burning in two areas of Kaeng Krachan National Park.

Sakchai Jongkitwiwat, director of the Fire Control Office of the department, on Monday morning flew by helicopter to observe the fires in the Pa La-oo Noi Forest in tambon Huay Sat Yai in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province on one side of the park, and areas surrounding Sarika, Krasu Linchan and Mae Khamoei villages in Nong Ya Plong district of Phetchaburi province on the other side.

Smoke was seen rising from many spots on both sides of the park.

On Monday morning, water and food was delivered by air to park officials sent into the forest three days earlier to carve out fire breaks

Mr Sakchai said the team was difficult to contact and get an update on the situation. He thought their radio batteries might have run low.

A helicopter from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was being used to fetch water from Huay Pa Lao reservoir and dump on the fire at Pa La-oo Noi forest, coordinating with rangers building the fire buffer zones.

On Monday morning the helicopter made 12 trips, dropping about 6,000 litres of water on the fire.  The results were being assessed on a daily basis.

Nearly 50 more staff from the Kaeng Krachan, Sam Roi Yot and Kui Buri national parks and the Jong Ang Suek task unit went into the forest on foot. Their main task was to build fire breaks to prevent the flames spreading to other areas of the park. It was believed they would need at least a full day to arrive in the target areas.

Teerachart Piapradit, chief of the fire control station at Nong Yai - Huay Sat Yai said Thanya Netithamkul, director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, had instructed the fire be put out as soon as possible. It was feared that if the fire was allowed to continue unabated it could affect the preparations for the listing of Kaeng Krachan National Park as a World Heritage site.

The department might have to seek help from the air force if it is not able to put the fire under control, he said.


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