Thailand’s Acting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered law enforcement officers to tighten up measures against forest arsonists following a massive blaze that is engulfing several mountains in the Nakhon Nayok province in Northeast Thailand.
Khao Chaplu mountain in Nakhon Nayok as well as several adjacent mountains are covered in flames following a wildfire that started during a summer storm on Tuesday night, March 28th.
The fire, which is burning about 700 rai from the mountains, was blown by strong winds and reached the top of the adjacent mountain of Khao Laem last night, which could be seen from afar.
Although there have yet to be evacuation orders, the closest communities are living only 400-500 meters away from the dangerous fire.
Firefighters and the National Park Department’s forest fire team are collaboratively trying to quell the blaze, with the help of KA-32 helicopters from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. However, the authorities said they are struggling to access certain areas due to its hilly terrain.
The Wildlife Rescue Center 1 announced that people who spotted wild animals that fled from the blaze can call 1362 for assistance 24 hours a day.
Meanwhile, caretaker PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is closely monitoring the forest fire situation that has occurred not only in the provinces of Nakhon Nayok but also in Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai as of press time.
The acting PM has ordered relevant agencies to raise awareness about the endangered wildfire among locals.
Law enforcement officers are also to strictly enforce laws against forest arsonists or farmers who might have burned agricultural waste, which is the root of both the wildfires and carcinogenic PM2.5 fine dust situation that has plagued Northeast Thailand for weeks.