By The Nation
When Samran Thepmalee, 58, collapsed in the thick smoke, her husband Sommai Themalee, 61, ran to fetch their neighbours to help.
He returned to find that Samran was already dead.
The rice-farming couple started the fire to clear their land in the tambon of Nong Fai in Muang district but the flames got out of control, threatening nearby homes and a school.
Fearing punishment because the province has banned outdoor burning, they tried to put out the blaze, but Samran was overcome by the smoke, Ban Khai police deputy inspector Pol Lt Colonel Chayapol Deelee quoted Sommai as saying.
Chaiyaphum Governor Narong Wonsiew instituted the temporary burning ban in a bid to curb dense haze plaguing the province.
Violators face penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to Bt150,000 or both.