In Thailand, there are two big swamp forests located at Narathiwat province i.e. Bajo and Todang swamp forests that cover the area of 260,000 rai (104,000 acres). In 1998, the most severe droughts in Thai history, including the deforestation and the burning of the conserved forest, resulted in fire at Todang.
Because its forests are covered with the fossil, wood and leaves for a long time that most of them submerged in the water and created a thick layer covering the ground. The water prevents those fossil from fully decomposing. When the severe drought occurred and the underground water lowered, thereby these fossils became the underground fuel and cause fire flaming up under the ground.Todang swamp forest fire situation
The first stage : On 16 March 1998, swamp forest fire occurred in the area of Charayor village, Palemus sub-district, Su-ngai Kolok district, Narathiwat province. The officers could control the fire situation on 1 April 1998 in this village.
The second stage : Swamp forest fire happened on 10 April 1998 in the same area of the first stage and other 3 areas which were Kokyai village (100 rai or 40 acres), Pooyo village (320 rai or 128 acres) and Kokkala village (11,400 rai or 4,560 acres).
The forest fire in the second stage was severe and it also spread to the nearby areas which was hard to control. The Todang swamp forest fire was hard to extinguish because the features of the swamp forest are different from other kind of forests in other regions of Thailand.
The government had the methods to extinguish this fire, for example, pumping water into the swamp forest, extinguishing fire forest in the main area, creating fire forest barrier by Backhoes and carrying water to extinguish fire by helicopters. However, these methods could control the fire from spreading to nearby area. But the officers encountered many problems that they could not completely extinguish the fire at that time.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej concerned about Todang swamp forest fire situation. The fire was not only destroyed the fertility of conserved the forest but also the ecosystem of the swamp forest. This fire caused air pollution of which the smoke severely harmed people’s health in surrounding areas. Because these above - mentioned methods could not control the fire, where situated underground, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej provided the advice to do the special Royal rainmaking operation along with other methods in extinguishing the swamp forest fire. He advised Royal rainmaking officers by using dry ice to induce humidity into this area. So the rain would fall in the target area including the mountain which is the water resources of Todang swamp forest.