Forest fire destroys 2,000 saplings, police search for arsonist
February 11, 2022/ Khmer Times
Authorities are currently combatting a forest fire in Banteay Meanchey that destroyed 2,000 saplings and have launched a search for the suspects involved with the case.
The fire happened in a forest near a pagoda in Thmor Miel Keut Village, Banteay Chhmar Commune, Thmor Puok District, Banteay Meanchey. The fire raged from February 9 to February 10.
The fire was reported on February 9 at 7 p.m. The fire started at the slopes of a mountain and started spreading in the east and west direction. The fire burnt down more than one kilometre of land.
It took a number of tanks of water and the cooperation of various military forces, as well as 72 monks in order to combat the forest fire. The team was able to completely extinguish the fire at 7 a.m. on February 10.
According to the head monk of the pagoda, the fire burned down 2,000 newly planted saplings. Other environmental groups stated that the fire had caused damages to the environment and flora of the Phnom Dangrek.
Authorities suspected that the fire was caused by an arsonist. Authorities have launched an investigation and search for the suspect responsible for the fire. Maj Gen. Sithy Lo ordered the police force of the provincial criminal office and the criminal police force of the district police inspectorate to cooperate and search for the perpetrator.
Director of Banteay Meanchey Provincial Department of Environment Yim Ly cooperated with the police to assist in the search for the perpetrator.