Umpiem Refugee Camp hit by forest fire

Umpiem Refugee Camp hit by forest fire

23 February 2012

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Thailand — A forest fire raged through the vast compound of Umpiem Refugee Camp in Tak’s Phop Phra district Thursday.

“We are trying to control the blaze,” Phop Phra district chief Poj Rhuroranan said.

As of press time, there was no report of injuries or deaths. However, the fire was clearly spreading through the forestland in which the camp is located.

A number of refugees, young and old, have fled for their lives.

“We believe the fire erupted out of dry leaves and dry weather,” Poj said, “But we are going to investigate further to determine the cause of the fire”.

Located in a remote corner of Phop Phra district, the Umpiem Refugee Camp needed to get the help of fire trucks from other areas.

The Umpiem Refugee Camp has accommodated more than 15,000 refugees, most of them Karenethnic and Burmese people. They have sought refuge at the camp to escape fighting in their homeland.

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