BANGKOK – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is offering help to the families of three forest firefighters who died while trying to contain wildfires in Chiang Mai province and seriously taking legal action on anyone setting forestland ablaze.
Attapol Charoenchansa, director-general of the Royal Forest Department, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa ordered him to give financial aid to the families of the three dead firefighters and the Forest and Marine Ranger Foundation would also offer them more aid.
Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha extended his condolences to the affected families and ordered decisive actions against anyone who set fire on forestland. The actions included the termination of their rights to use forestland, Mr Attapol said.
The prime minister also ordered officials to extinguish hotspots in forests of nine northern provinces as well as forests in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province and the Mae Wong National Park in Uthai Thani province within a week, Mr Attapol said.
The director-general of the Royal Forest Department warned people who saw forest fires not to try to put out the blaze by themselves because that could be fatal. He advised them to report wildfires to trained officials who know how to handle forest fires.
Mr Attapol blamed wildfires on the people who were upset with the regulation of forest land use and those who tried to expand their businesses and farmland into forestland, hunted for wildlife and set fire on their farmland that is adjacent to forests. (TNA)