Myanmar man sentenced to 5 years in jail for starting fire in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

A Myanmar national has been sentenced to five years in jail and fined 5 million baht for starting a fire in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park in January.

Mr. Jo Keso, 25 was arrested in the park Jan. 23 and stood accused of starting a fire that subsequently burned 114 rai of land.

Where the story takes a strange turn is how the fire started. Mr. Keso allegedly lit incense sticks in the area in which he was camping in the park to repel mosquitoes while he slept with the incense sticks then starting the fire. While the reason may seem fanciful, it’s also not disputed by police who found a lighter and multiple incense sticks when they arrested him.

He was charged with destruction of forest, carrying out acts that are detrimental to a national forest, destroying or causing destruction or loss or damage to natural resources in a national forest without permission, harmful deterioration of natural resources and the environment and finally discarding a device that may cause a fire.

His original sentence was 10 years but the sentence was cut in half due to Mr. Keso pleading guilty.

Photo: Guru Chiang Mai