Multiple fires across Chiang Mai, some expected to rapidly spread

 | Mon 3 Apr 2023 20:18 ICT

 Nirat Pongsitthavorn, Governor of Chiang Mai, along with forestry, rescue and other government officials visited Sri Lanna National Park in Mae Taeng District today to oversee efforts against a wildfire which is spreading in many directions.
The group took a 20 minute boat ride to Huay Mae Kwa Forest in Mae Taeng where a fire was started, according to authorities, by mushroom hunters and farmers tending herds of cattle. This area is full of brush which is ideal tinder during these dry months.
The governor told the Head of the District of Mae Taeng to create a full inventory of all cattle farmers in the area and where they roam as some farmers still use old methods of burning the brush to stimulate new growth for cattle feed.
At the same time, in Huay Reun Forest in another part of the Sri Lanna National Park in Phrao District, firefighters had to walk eight hours, spending the night in the forest, to reach a fire which is still unchecked.
The governor will soon issue an emergency warning to certain areas which are expected to be affected by fire and rescue teams are on standby to help. It is believed that fires raging across Sri Lanna National Park will continue to grow unchecked due to the vast amount of natural tinder.
Authorities have asked all farmers in the vicinity to avoid lighting any fires for any reason, especially to combat other fires, and to help work together to create fire lines to deter the spread of the fires.
Closer to the city of Chiang Mai is a fire which had been spreading across the foothills of Doi Suthep near Huay Tung Tao Reservoir in Mae Rim District. Helicopters have been deployed to fight the fire, in hopes of mitigating some of the air pollution which has resulted from it. This fire has now been contained, however there have been reports of new forest fires starting up nearby. Areas under heavy patrol at this time are Baan Pong in Hang Dong District, Pong Yang in Mae Rim District and Mae Raem in Mae Rim District.