Swamp forest fire in South continues into fifth day

Thursday, 17 July 2014 By  MCOT

NARATHIWAT, July 16 --  The peat swamp forest in Thailand’s southern province of Narathiwat continues burning with a persistent smouldering fire for the fifth day despite heavy rain last night.

The blaze has engulfed the hillside area straddling the Toh Dang swamp forest and Plak Pla village in Kosit subdistrict of Tak Bai for five days and damaged more than 150 rais of rubber plantations so far.

Journalists viewing the burning swamp forest from a paramotor reported that the heavy overnight rain had extinguished the fires in two major areas, but three other areas are still burning due to underground fuel such as dry rotted plants.

Firefighters, emergency workers and officials are on the scene having been sent to inspect the area and contain the fire. According to the provincial disaster response mitigation office in Narathiwat, it is expected that continued rainfall will help bring the fire under control within three days.

The fire is believed to have started after trees and undergrowth were cut down and burnt to prepare the land for growing rubber and palm.

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