In late 2012, a fire threatened to engulf the community forest of Huai Hin Kao village in Nong Khai’s Pho Tak district. Twenty local men followed the village chief’s call to help tackle the flames that came dangerously close to the community.
“I learned afterwards that the fire was caused by villagers cutting down trees to make way for rubber plantations,” says Khanong Nakchuen, who was one of the volunteers who helped put out the fire on that day. “They also burned leaves and branches when it was cold and windy, causing the fire to spread easily.”
The incident made Khanong and others in the village realize that their community forest was in urgent need of protection. They formed a group of volunteers to protect the forest that is now part of the Huai Hin Kao Forest Guardians Project.