CityNews – 31st March 2020, Chiang Mai police have announced that they have arrested two fire starters, though both men maintain their innocence, saying it was an accident which got out of control.
According to police, Siri Ratipornprasert, 57 and Kaweepat Saenyakiettikun, 49, have been arrested for possibly lighting fires in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.
According to the police, 60 rai of land has been burnt, requiring over 1,000 fire fighters to extinguish it [the number of land burnt is disputed by most other sources who claim that it may be in the thousands of rai]. Police, following investigations, discovered that the point of origin for the fire was in Baan Pong subdistrict of Hang Dong. When police went to the area they found implements for lighting fire including accelerant and a lighter.
Following their arrest, the two men confessed to lighting the fire, but said that it was in fact an attempt to create a fire breaker that got out of control.
Charoenrit Sanguansat, Governor of Chiang Mai, said that they may not have intended to cause such damage, but that they did and so far all evidence points to them. They should therefore be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The governor went on to say that authorities have arrested a number of arsonists and many are going through the judicial process. He went on to say that experts have said that the air pollution levels are expected to get better in the coming days.