11 July 2024

One firefighter has died of a heart attack, while two others are suffering from heat stroke and cerebral haemorrhage, as firefighters from the Department of Forests and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation desperately try to control raging forest fires in several northern provinces, especially in Mae Hong Son.

1,153 hotspots have been recorded in Mae Hong Son from March 1st to 3rd, including 646 hotspots in Pai district and the rest in conserved forests.

Atthaphon Charoenchansa, the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said that Pansak Jaimongkol, an official at Khun Nan National Park, has died, apparently of a heart attack, while on foot patrol in Bo Klua district of Nan.

Another official at the park suffered heat stroke while on a fire-fighting mission and his teammates managed to take him out of the jungle and get him to hospital.

The third official, who suffered a cerebral haemorrhage, is now in the ICU of Chiang Mai Neurological Hospital.

Atthaphon said he has instructed all fire-fighting chiefs to make sure their men are physically fit, before they are sent to control forest fires.

He also said that the department will make use of its emergency fund, amounting to 272 million baht, to hire villagers at 9,000 baht per head for a period of two and a half months, to help in fire-fighting efforts, adding that he hopes this will help ease the burden on the officials.