After nine long days, authorities managed to extinguish the blazing forest fire in the Phou Phanang National Protected Area on 28 March.
The fire, which was caused by agricultural burning in the area, had spread to 17 different villages in the Sangthong district, causing damage to an area of around 120 hectares of woodland.
Around 600 people, including officials and local residents, were mobilized on 20 March to help contain and extinguish the fire. More than 200 soldiers from the Ministry of National Defence were among those involved in the efforts.
According to Mr. Phongsavanh Siliphan, the Governor of Sangthong district, the fire was caused by villagers burning crops for agricultural use, reported Pathedlao.
In an effort to further contain the fire, barricades were set up around the burning area to help prevent the fire from spreading further. Burning branches and trees were also cut down to curtail the spread.
Fortunately, the fire did not spread to office buildings, houses, or agricultural farms. Phou Phanang forest is one of the most protected woodlands in Laos, covering a forested area of 1,525 square kilometers along the length of Sangthong district.
Laos has seen raging fires throughout the country due to crop burning and slash-and-burn agriculture during this dry season. Notably, an agricultural fire in Oudomxay Province killed two people, and there was a landfill fire in Luang Prabang province which raged on for over two weeks.