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60 Fires In First Three Months Of Year

Source: Vientiane Times

A total of 60 fires were reported around the country in the first three months of this year, in which two people were injured.

The estimated damages caused by these fires was in excess of 61 billion kip, according to the Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

The department reported 31 houses burned down and seven others were damaged. Ten rooms of apartments, four temples, three shops and a factory were damaged or destroyed.

In other incidents, six cars, two tractors and eight motorcycles caught fire and burned. Twenty-six of the fires were caused by electrical short circuits, another five by arson, 21 through carelessness or forgetfulness, while four resulted from cooking fires, and six more are under investigation.

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The largest fire occurred in Oudomxay recently, when five houses in Sakua village of Namor district were engulfed in flames.

The blaze is believed to have been caused by a cooking fire and the buildings that burned down were mostly made of wood. The authorities are assessing the value of the damage.

The department has warned people everywhere to be especially careful about preventing fires at this time of the year. Most fires occur between January and April during the hot season.

Fires can occur at any time during the hot season. This year, most fires have been reported within national protected areas and provincial protected areas. More than 100,000 hectares of forests in Luang Namtha province were destroyed by bushfires that raged for more than a month, officials have said.

In Oudomxay, bushfires destroyed more than 18,000 hectares of forests in Phouhiphi Protected Area and other protected forests, according to the province’s Agriculture and Forestry Office.

Most of these fires were caused by the destructive activities of local people, including hunting within the protected areas.