The Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment Chiang Mai announced yesterday that it is now going to tart utilising electric dirt bikes, for the first time in Thailand, to combat wild fires.
Volunteers from the Thailand Trails Sports Association will be patrolling some of the least accessible mountainous areas in the north from now until the end of the smokey season.
Imported from Australia, one DOB Bikes prototype, costing 185,000 baht, will be used along with 20 dirt bikes provided by volunteers.
It is hoped that these bikes will be able to access necessary areas much faster than normal means, aiding in any rescue needed.
They will also be used to patrol areas in search of hot spots.
“If we can use more of these electric bikes,” said Nattawut Chuaboonmee, a member of the Thailand Trails Sports Association, “it will mean that our efforts are clean, there will be no noise or other pollutants and we hope to have an impact on fire fighting efforts to reduce the smoke in the north.”
“These bikes are very light, suitable for the job. It takes one hour to charge the battery which runs up to two hour in tough terrain. Longer on normal roads.”
The bikes will initially be deplayed along the Doi Suthep-Pui mountain range. The authorities hope that the silence of the electric bike may also be of aid in catching people who burn, causing the majority of fires.
Plans are in the works to begin to change all firefighting machinery such as weed cutters and leaf blowers, to electric.