Officials, locals racing to save sacred mountain from fire in Chiang Mai

Buffer zones have been created to prevent the fires they cannot stop from spreading to the mountain in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

The Nation

The Nation



April 3, 2023

BANGKOK – Buffer zones have been created to prevent fires they cannot extinguish from spreading to the 1,676-metre mountain in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

The fires began erupting on Thursday night close to three villages near mountain, which is located about 15 kilometres west of Chiang Mai city.

Officials from Doi Suthep-Pui National Park say they have created nine buffer zones around the sacred mountain and extinguished scores of fires. They have been working around the clock with soldiers and local volunteers to protect the mountain’s evergreen and deciduous forests and its abundant wildlife.

Residents of three villages spotted the fires on Thursday night and they have been working non-stop with park officials and army troops to extinguish the fires and create buffer zones around the mountain, said Doi Suthep-Pui National Park chief Wutthichai Somewiphat.

The nine buffer zones created so far are:

– Zone 1 in Ban Pang Yang village. Seven forest fires erupted near the village. Officials have created a buffer zone to prevent fires from spreading to the mountain.

– Zone 2 in Ban Mae Na Sai. Seven forest fires erupted and one spread to a cliff before it was extinguished. Army troops created a buffer to prevent it from spreading.

– Zone 3 in Ban Mai San Khayom. Twenty-four officials have been deployed to control two fires.

– Zone 4 in Ban Thung Pong Tai. Ten officials extinguished several fires near the village before being moved to Zone 3 to extinguish more fires.

– Zone 5 in Ban Pong Nua. Officials worked with village volunteers to extinguish a large blaze before it spread to the mountain.

– Zone 6 in Ban Mae Hia Nai. Officials continue fighting fires in this zone.

– Zone 7 at Kilometre Marker 7. Army troops created a large buffer to prevent seven fires from spreading to the mountain.

– Zone 8 a Kong Klong cliffs. Twenty military troops created a buffer and pulled out. They are waiting for two fires to reach the buffer zone and hoping they die down.

– Zone 9 at Na Rai Intersection. Four forest fires have been extinguished so far.

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