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Forest Fire Continues to Burn in North


A forest fire in the north of the country that has been burning for six days, undeterred neither by crude fire-fighting methods of villagers nor rains, officials said Friday.

The fire has spread to Thmor Kaul district, Battambang province, where it has destroyed another 1,000 hectares of flooded forest.

Villagers have been unable to beat the fire back, and officials said heavy rains in the area near the fire had yet to put a stop to it.

“Some places still have fire, despite heavy rain in my district,” said Uch Eng, governor of Thmor Kaul, told VOA Khmer by phone. “The fire took place in five areas, and it is very difficult to reach that place. So I’ve ordered people to take water baskets and sticks and brooms into the forest, but the fire is still strong right now.”

The fire, which destroyed forest in Bantheay Meanchey and Battambang provinces, began April 19, as villagers were burning their rice fields. It has now spread across a total of 3,000 hectares, in areas not easily reached by fire trucks.

So far only wildlife, such as monkeys, snakes and turtles, have been killed by the blaze.

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