Firefighters remain on watch in Nai Harn

PHUKET: Rawai Municipality firefighters are maintaining a close watch on the area at Laem Krathing that caught ablaze on Saturday to ensure no further outbreaks of wildfires on the steep slopes.

Access to the rocky peninsula at the tip of Laem Krathing, popular with visitors, has been closed off to prevent any tourists from being trapped by fire, reported Rawai Mayor Aroon Soros.

Personnel from the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command were dispatched to rescue 16 Thai and foreign tourists who had become trapped on the rocks, unable to return to safety due to the fire crossing the access road to the popular viewpoint.

Firefighters returned to the area yesterday morning and found that most of the fire had burned itself out, razing some 50 rai of land in the process.

Nevertheless, the fire teams doused the smaller continuing brush fires to contain any further spread, with special attention given to preventing the fire from getting any closer to a nearby resort, Mayor Aroon said.

A small fire break was created to protect some local houses, he added.

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“The work was difficult due to the steep hillside slope and the rocky terrain,” Mayor Aroon noted.

Firefighters reported that they had yet to confirm the cause of the fire, Mayor Aroon confirmed.

Dry grass and strong winds had helped the fire to spread quickly, he noted.

“During this period in Phuket, it rarely rains, causing dry grass to become more fuel for fire,” Mayor Aroon said.

“As for what started the fire, there are only two possible causes. One is the hot weather and dry grass leading to the fire starting naturally. The other is a discarded cigarette butt,” he said.

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