3,000 more officials deployed to fight Thailand’s northern wildfires


BANGKOK, March 30 – About 3,000 officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment from the South were assigned to fight wildfires in the North.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said the officials were moved from the South to the North to control the fires although the government was concerned about the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Forest fires in the North are critical. People in urban areas are heavily affected… Officials from all organizations are trying to relieve the situation,” he said. About 5,000 officials were fighting wildfires in the North, he said.

Mr Varawut said the government was doing its best to put out forest fires in the North. His ministry, the military and the Interior Ministry were using helicopters around the clock to support fire-fighting operations.

Firefighters were walking long distances to control forest fires and officials were asking local people to help protect their forests, Mr Varawut said.

On March 29 government spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered decisive legal action against the people who caused forest fires. (TNA)