Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fire razes wooden bridge

Fire razes wooden bridge

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A wooden bridge spanning the Sdao river was destroyed after a forest fire razed it on Friday in Sdao commune’s Trapaing Thlok village. Photo supplied

Fire razes wooden bridge

Preah Vihear province’s Sangkum Thmei district governor Chum Puy is seeking to rebuild a wooden bridge spanning the Sdao river after a forest fire razed it on Friday in Sdao commune’s Trapaing Thlok village.

Puy said villagers may have started the fire in the Phnom Tnout Wildlife Sanctuary as either a means to illegally catch wild animals or clear land for cultivation.

“We need to construct a new wooden bridge for temporary use,” he said, noting that a steel bridge would be built in the first half of this year by the Preah Vihear provincial Department of Public Works and Transport.

Puy also called on citizens to immediately stop using fires as a way to hunt or clear land during the dry season, as it can easily spread and lead to serious damage to nearby property.

Sangkum Thmei district police chief Chuon Moeurn noted that two fires actually broke out on the day the bridge was razed.

He said the first took place at 10:30am, but Sdao commune police forces and residents extinguished the inferno.

However, another began in the same area at 2:30pm and villagers and authorities eventually brought it under control but its embers later spread to the bridge.

“We could not save the bridge. Police forces and villagers totalling 30 people formed a bucket brigade to collect water and extinguish the fire. We even cut down tree branches to hit the fire until it was extinguished.

“But that area abounds with bamboo forests, thereby leading embers in some thickets of bamboo to catch fire again. At 6pm on the same day, the fire spread to the wooden bridge,” Moeurn said.

Ben Davis, who is running an ecotourism project at the wildlife sanctuary, told The Post that residents in the area seemed unconcerned over directives from authorities not to use fire to clear land or hunt animals.

“I think if the villagers learn the law and realise that using fire is not safe, this will no longer happen. We should preserve, protect and conserve forests well. Everyone must abide by and apply the law and legal standards of the state,” he said.

“My family and I are worried about safety and security. But my family and I will live here because we love nature, forests and the wild animals here. I believe the vast majority of people in the world love nature and want to preserve and protect natural resources as I do.”

In a separate case in Kampong Thom province, 80ha of rice stubble burned and spread to a forest near the Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological site.

Provincial Fire Bureau chief Hay Kimhorn said: “We intervened to extinguish the fire and stop it from spreading to the temple and the Sambor Prei Kuk conservation project buildings, but the big fire from villagers’ land spread, affecting 84ha of protected forests near the site.”


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm

  • Manet touches down in Beijing for high-level meetings

    Prime Minister Hun Manet arrived in Beijing on September 14 for his first official visit to China, where he is slated to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and meet other leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Upon his arrival, Manet laid a wreath at the Monument