By The Nation
Sithichai said that with the dry season arriving earlier than usual, Pai district has seen more wildfires than other areas.
Phak Wan Pa, especially, has seen a number of fires as locals, who like to grow Melientha suavis, believe that burning the area will help the vegetable bud more easily and taste better.
Each year, Phak Wan Pa locals concentrate on growing enough of the vegetable as it is popular among the general public and commands a high market price.
The Mae Hong Son Forest Fire Control Centre said that amid the forest fires and haze in the province from January 1-12, they had detected 155 heat points on the Viirs system in Pai district, compared to 96 points in previous years.
The Pai River Fire Control Station on Wednesday also reported that it was called in several times to control forest fires.