Friday, July 03, 2020

After huge damage from bushfire, national park struggles to prepare for dry season

Feb 18. 2020
Caption: Phu Kradueng National Park staff take a nap after working for almost two straight days.
Caption: Phu Kradueng National Park staff take a nap after working for almost two straight days.
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By THE NATION

Staff at Phu Kradueng National Park in Loei province are working around the clock to build additional firebreaks to prevent the reoccurrence of bushfires, as the dry season approaches.

On Tuesday (February 18), Phu Kradueng National Park officials told the press that although they had contained the bushfire that started on Sunday (February 16) and damaged over 3,400 rai of national park forests, they still need to build additional firebreaks to prevent reoccurrence of fire, which is more likely during the dry season. “Currently we have only one tractor truck to build the firebreaks,” one of the staff said. “It has been working around the clock for two straight days and the engine is not in very good condition.”

Park officials said that they have an additional truck at the Wildfire Extinguishment Unit, but transporting the vehicle to the site of the fire would require a helicopter, which they do not have. “In a worst-case scenario, we may have to disassemble the truck and carry the parts by foot, which could take at least two days.”

The Region 10 Environmental Office reported that the February 16 bushfire in Phu Kradueng had damaged at least 3,400 rai of the national park’s pine forest and grassfields, including the 100-year-old iconic pine tree. This bushfire is the third and worst bushfire in the past eight years.

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