Thailand — The Royal Forest Department has stepped up its prevention of wild fire with more strenuous clampdown on encroachment.
Director-General of the Royal Forest Department Boonchop Suthamanuswong, on Monday, held a press conference to announce a ban on encroachment and illegal ownership of forestland, which has been damaged by wild fire, particularly within the national park areas.
Mr. Boonchop conceded that wild fire has been mostly caused by drought, which has exacerbated the burning of farmland for the new crop season.
Since October 2012, around 11,274 rai within the national parks across the country and under the jurisdiction of the Forestry Department have been affected by wild fire.
Mr. Boonchop added that, even though the situation is likely to be easing because of the arrival of the rainy season, all preventive measures and surveillance programs will still be implemented by related offices and provincial governors while those found guilty of encroachment or forest burning will be subject to jail term of two to 15 years or fine of 5,000 to 150,000 baht, or both.