Famous Chiang Mai hiking spot ravaged by fire

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

One of the country's most popular hiking spots has become the latest victim of wildfires that have sprung up across the North over the past few months.

Twenty rai of Doi Mon Jong mountain in Chiang Mai province was turned to ash this week as a blaze tore through its forested flank.

Firefighters posted photographs of the mountain's charred slopes, which draw thousands of hikers from across the country each year.

A once-lush green area covering the equivalent of three football fields now forms an ugly black gash in the landscape.

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

Doi Mon Jong, located in Amphur Om-Goi, is among the 10 highest peaks in the country, rising 1,929 metres above sea level.

It is also home to various wildlife, including wild elephants, serow and goral, a rare goat-like antelope species.