Police called to investigate alleged arson wildfire at Thai Mueang national park

01 March 2019

Published by https://www.thephuketnews.com/

THAILAND – Local villagers living inside Khao Lampi – Hat Thai Mueang National Park informed Park Chief Mongkol Liwwiriyakul of the fire at 10:30am.

Fire teams throughout the area called, and finally had the fire safely extinguished by about 2pm, Mr Mongkol reported to his superior, Damrat Poprasit, Director of the Conservation Region 5 Office.

However, in even that short period, the fire had spread quickly and burned 66.89 rai of the park, Mr Mongkol reported.

Park Chief Mongkol also noted in his report that his officers believe the fire was intentionally started by local residents angered by park officers not allowing them to use some areas within the park.

The local villagers who live in that area of the park are legally entitled to do so as the village was already well established before the area was declared a national park, Mr Mongkol explained in his report.

“The cause of this fire is probably someone is not satisfied that park officers stopped them to get in the area, so they burned it,” he wrote.

Park officers have now roped off the area so that it can be investigated and a formal complaint has been filed with the Thai Mueang Police requesting that they investigate the possibler arson, Mr Mongkol noted.

Lt Col Patipal Wisal of the Thai Mueang Police told The Phuket News yesterday (Feb 28) that he has have already begun his investigation.

“I went to the scene, it’s a coconut plantation that villagers said belonged to them before the area was declared a national park,” Col Patipal said.

“We are continuing our investiagtion to determine whether the fire was intentionally started,” he said.

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