Vientiane Capital has reported economic damages of about LAK 760 million or over USD 40,000 due to fire-related incidents from January to April.
Lieutenant Colonel Khamphet Dalavong, Director of the Vientiane Fire Control and Prevention Department, said that due to the increase in forest fires, the number of fires in the capital city of Vientiane has also seen a rise from the previous year.
In four months, the districts of Sikhottabong and Xaythany both experienced significant forest fires, but Xaythany saw the most forest fires.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Khamphet Dalavong, 40 firefighters and over 20 fire trucks are stationed in the capital to respond to fire-related incidents, but the department lacks equipment for potentially major accidents.
Additionally, Lieutenant Colonel Khamphet informed that the delay in responding to some instances by emergency services has been due to that traffic congestion and road conditions in the city.
“Some locals or witnesses who encounter a fire incident do not report it to the authorities; instead, they film the situation or broadcast it live on social media without providing location information, making it difficult for authorities to locate the incident,” he added.
He urged residents of Vientiane Capital to call 1190 to report a fire and advised them to be cautious with electrical appliances during the dry season in order to prevent any fire-related incidents.