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Chiang Mai blanketed in smoke as fires burn around the province

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PHOTO: Downtown Chiang Mai this morning. Where's the blue sky gone? - Neo

It’s smoggy, smokey and generally unpleasant in northern Thailand today. But don’t take our word for it, look up to the skies around Chiang Mai or check the copious amounts of graphic evidence, freely available, about the seriousness of the fires, almost all deliberately lit, around the region.

“It’s been bad all morning and there’s a noticeable smell of smoke in the air now. I am sure it is not good for us”

The manager of a flower shop contacted The Thaiger and sent us a few photos of the Chiang Mai skies.

“We are used to seeing people walk around with face masks because of the coronavirus threat but now most of us are worried about the air pollution.”

Plantation burn-offs are a seasonal problem where the owners of rice and sugarcane crops, and other crops, burn the residual foliage and plants in preparation for the next crop. It’s the cheapest option for farmers. Despite threats and government policy, little is preventing the practice from continuing.

Read our editorial about the ‘smoke screen’ surrounding the fires and the air pollution problem HERE.

Chiang Mai blanketed in smoke as fires burn around the province | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Global Forest Watch

Whilst the air visual air pollution mapping officially registers Chiang Mai’s air quality at 178 this morning (that’s 178 particles of 2.5micron particulate per cubic metre), there are parts of the province registering way up into the 200s today, officially ‘Very Unhealthy’. Indeed Chiang Mai is today’s 9th most polluted city in the world, in the same company as cities like Dhaka, Delhi, Kathmandu and Mumbai.

Chiang Mai blanketed in smoke as fires burn around the province | News by Thaiger

Chiang Mai blanketed in smoke as fires burn around the province | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Air Visual

Read more about the seriousness of Chiang Mai’s choking smoke today HERE.

 

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