Fires Damage Grassland at Kirirom Nat’l Park

Two fires swept through Kir­irom National Park in Kompong Speu and destroyed more than 10 hectares of grassland last week, an official said Monday.

Conservation Director Chay Samith said that the two fires were extinguished within about an hour. Others in the area said the fires seemed to go on longer.

He added that at this time of year in the dry season, at least three fires hit the mountaintop national park, which is a popular weekend getaway. The area, about one and a half hours south­west of Phnom Penh, boasts a river, lake, pinewood forests and a small resort.

Chay Samith lamented the lack of firefighting facilities at the national park. “We have no means to prevent fire spreading when poachers or the public throw cigarettes into the dry grass,” he said, and added that the 22 park rangers would not be able to control a large fire.

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