Total area of peatland in Thailand is 64,555 hectare (0.13 percent of country area). 23 percent of peatland are protected area as non-hunting area and wildlife sanctuary and 77 percent are national reserve forest and agricultural development area. In Thailand, the major cause of peat swamp forest degraded is forest fire. According to the official statistics collected since 1985, there were very few number of nature-caused fire recorded.
Therefore generally speaking all fire are man-caused, especially by rural people who live in or adjacent to forest. The main reason that the people setting fire are gathering of forest non-timber product, agricultural debris burning and hunting.
Forest Fire Control Division, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant conservation is the main agency responsible for forest fire control and management in protected area. The main activities include prevention, fuel management, detection and suppression.
In peat swamp forest area, to prevent the fire effectively, it is necessary that the water level must be maintained above the soil surface of peatland by using the water control gate, weirs and sandbagging and also monitoring water level every week. For campaign against fire, A lot of method for prevention campaign are deployed such as a mobile unit which the fire officer go to communicate with people directly, the education program for the student, campaign on all kind of mass media available, fire exhibition, billboard, training course of villager and youth fire volunteer. For fuel management, the thickness and quantities of peat are quantified once a year. Fire detection is very crucial activity, the ground and air patrol are done in peat swamp forest all year round. For suppress fire, the important equipment have been prepared before fire season such as water pump, rubber tube, collapsible tank, etc. and also prepare fire crew for suppress fire.
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