Kampong Chhnang Forest Fires Out of Control

Source: Khmer Times / Sunday, 17 April 2016 by Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

About 130 hectares of protected wetlands in three villages in Kampong Chhnang province’s Boribor district were consumed in forest fires last week, according to a police report issued by the Interior Ministry.
The fires, which began on April 7, were most likely set by nearby residents in land-grabbing attempts, according to district police officer Major Seng Sarun. He added that while provincial authorities are working hard to fight the fires, they have yet to be extinguished.
“These fires were undoubtedly caused by local villagers burning in order to grab state wetlands. They then spread to other places in the district,” Maj. Sarun told Khmer Times yesterday by telephone.
“Until now, the fires are still continuing to burn in forests in Chhnok Trou areas.”
Three fire trucks have been dispatched to battle the blazes.
Colonel Ly Vuthy, Deputy Chief of Kampong Chhanng Provincial Police, said police are investigating the causes of fires.
Over the Khmer New Year, between April 13 and 16, nine fires resulting in one fatality were recorded throughout the Kingdom, according to the Interior Ministry report. Four of the fires took place in Phnom Penh, while others were recorded in Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Mondulkiri, Kratie and Kampong Speu provinces.

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