6 June 2024

A fire-fighting volunteer was found dead, apparently from suffocation, in Khun Khan National Park in Chiang Mai province yesterday (Friday).

According to Atthaphon Charoenchansa, acting director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Wichai Thimakham, a 39-year-old volunteer from Ban Pong Khrai in Mae Rim district, was with other volunteers and park officials between Ban Pok and Ban Pong Khrai villages since Thursday evening.

Wichai and his group were supposed to return to camp Friday morning. He did not show up, prompting a search, which subsequently located his body.

Atthaphon said that no burns were found on Wichai’s body and he is believed to have died from suffocation. His remains have been taken to a hospital for an autopsy.

Meanwhile, Chaiya Huayhongtong, chief of Khao Yai National Park, said that forest fires reignited again yesterday afternoon at Khao Tabaek, behind the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Nakhon Nayok, as firefighters were building a firebreak.

He said that wild animals, such as squirrels and monitor lizards, were found burned to death in the forest.

The Department of Public Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has estimated that more than 190 hectares of forest in the Khao Laem area in Nakhon Nayok have been destroyed by fire.

Five helicopters have been deployed to control fires and more than 191,000 litres of water have been dropped to control fires.