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.”

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth