With the dry season upon us in Chiang Mai there is an increasing threat of forest fires in the region and so on Saturday 23rd January, Thai Eco Solutions embarked on a firebreak event supported by Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and various partners including Noren Resort by El Greco, Lanna Language School, Lotus Yoga by Lanna Thara and Sala Thai Restaurant as well as volunteers living in Chiang Mai. Trailhead Thailand and Wildside Chiang Mai kindly provided transportation and tools for the event. We chose the location of the tree planting project we organized in July 2020 with the aim to prevent the thousands of saplings planted being lost should there be a fire.
Doi Hua Moo (or Pig head mountain) sits close to the highest point in the national park and is a beautiful exposed bluff with stunning views of Mae Rim and beyond. Unfortunately years of burning killed off much of the forest in this area which enabled other species to take their place and preventing native species to regrow. In the previous tree planting event, Thai Eco Solutions planted several thousand saplings consisting of 20 native tree species with the aim to return the area to its natural state. This is a very long and challenging process, which will take years and a lot of effort in order to succeed and building a firebreak is one way of protecting them throughout the dry season.
Volunteers gathered at 9am at the tourist police station before heading up to the summit of Doi Pui to prepare for clearing a gap around the tree planting area. National park staff gave a quick briefing before we set off with rakes, brushes and various other tools to help clear the area. With the difficult terrain it was tough going clearing weeds and thick brush but with the hard work of the volunteers we soon made a 2 meter clearing around the circumference of the tree planting site during the course of the morning. Thanks to the support of our partners, volunteers were treated to a delicious lunch provided in banana leaf wrapping and drinks served in nipa palm cups to reduce any use of plastic packaging. Volunteers enjoyed the views from the summit and chatted among themselves as the event was wrapped up before heading back to Chiang Mai.