Several northern provinces have announced they will be closing national forests for two months as they contend with annual forest fires, reminding the inhabitants that hunting and foraging laws will be strictly enforced.
Soldiers from the Veterinary and Remount Department of the Royal Thai Army, have joined administrative officials and village leaders to tackle forest fires in the Mae Ping National Park area of Doi Tao district of Chiang Mai province.
The Third Army has set up patrols of the district, as it is among the top ten locations for hotspots this year and is under a strict no burning rule.
Hotspots have continually been discovered in the district, with latest counts exceeding 10 spots, putting it in fourth position for hotspots in Chiang Mai. A target of 50 percent fewer hotspots has been set for the district this year after more than 132,000 rai was set ablaze and a total of 802 hotspots were recorded in 2020.
The Third Army has sent a memo to the governors of 17 provinces across the north, asking them to close off forests for a period of two months or 61 days starting in March. Authorities are to foster an understanding of the rule and screen all entry points into forest areas. Violators will be fined 100,000 baht and be hit with a jail sentence between 4 and 20 years if they cause a fire, with an additional fines of 400,000 baht to 2 million baht. (NNT)