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Firefighters Struggle to Contain Forest Fire in Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan District

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CHIANG RAI – Chiang Rai Governor Narong Rojjanasothorn disclosed today that the authorities have not been able to control part of the fire on Doi Jorakhae and a Situation Command Center has been set up at Lam Nam Kok National Park, Pa Tueng subdistrict, Mae Chan district.

His Majesty the King has ordered the relevant authorities to set up a royal kitchen in Chiang Rai to help, Chiang Rai volunteers that are bravely and selflessly participating in the operation to put out the forest fire.

Mae Chan District Chief Officer Wandee Rajchompoo reports that the authorities have been able to control most of the forest fires on Doi Jorakhae, Mae Chan district, in Pa Doi Nang Lae National Forest Reserve, Doi Nang Lae, Doi Yao and Doi Phra Bat. Extinguishing the fire on the top of Doi Jorakhae is a major challenge, as it is difficult to reach.

The Royal Thai Army and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment have provided helicopters to help extinguish fires in many spots especially in the area near Mae Chan subdistrict where the forest fire could spread in the event of a strong wind. More than 1,500 people including officials and local people have built fire breaks to prevent the forest fire from spreading into the community.

Meanwhile, Maj-General Bancha Suriyapan speculated that the wildfire was sparked by illegal poachers, judging by the fact that similar fires were started at the same time throughout the northern region. Hence, Bancha has ordered relevant officials to investigate this issue and bring the suspects to justice.