This year’s three-day Khmer New Year saw seven fires in six provinces – Battambang, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham and Tbong Khumum – resulting in damage to five homes, one grocery store and one warehouse attached to a power plant, according to data obtained by The Post on April 17.

The National Police’s Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing and Rescue data showed the number of fires during this year’s holiday had decreased by two cases, compared to the same period last year 2021, when nine serious fires were reported.

“At least one elderly woman sustained injuries and five other families have lost safe shelter. Electrical equipment – including power lines – was also lost to the flames,” according to the report.

Fire department director Neth Vantha told The Post on April 17 that fire prevention remained a challenge across the Kingdom, adding that most were preventable and caused by negligence on the part of house and factory owners.

“Nearly all of the fires that occurred over the Khmer New Year period were determined to have occurred due to carelessness. They were started by electrical faults, carelessly lit incense or candles or garbage burning that was not controlled. One fire remains the subject of an investigation,” he said.

Vantha added that the number of fires dropped by seven cases, if compared to the three-day Lunar New Year holiday in February, when 14 were recorded.