Panel set up to probe cover-up of forest fire at Phu Kradueng national park

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Over 1,000 rai of forest in Phu Kradueng national park in Loei province were burned down and one tractor was damaged but the incident was not reported to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants until four days afterward.

The department chief, Mr Tunya Netithammakul, said that the fire took place on March 20 and he was informed about it four days after. He said he felt all the officials at Phu Kradueng appeared to be intent to cover up the incident.

A committee has been set up to investigate all the officials involved from the director and the park chief down to officials in the field to find out what actually happened and how the tractor was damaged, said Mr Tunya.

He admitted that more forest area in Phu Kradueng national park were damaged this year than the previous years’.

Since October last year until March 23 this year, 4,005 forest fire incidents were reported in forest conservation areas with over 58,000 rai of forests damaged compared to 12,000 rai in 2015.