About 100 rai of forest in the Dong Chongphuparn Dong Kacher forest reserves in Muang district of Sakhon Nakhon were destroyed in a forest fire suspected to be started by forest products collectors.
It took forestry rangers more than three hours to keep the fire under control, but they were unable to save the 100 rai of forest.
Forest officials said that it has been a traditional practice for forest products collectors to set fire to the forest to clear the land so that, when the first rains come, young edible plants such as bamboo shoots will sprout up so they return to collect for consumption or for sale in the market.
However, the practice is regarded as destructive and a threat to the ecological system of the forest. Announcements have been made warning heavy penalties against anyone caught setting fire in national parks or forest reserves.
Violators are liable to an imprisonment from 2 to 15 years and/or a fine between 20,000-100,000 baht.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)