Northern Thailand is seeing dangerous levels of pollution with PM2.5 dust particle levels exceeding the safety standard. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the worst as they are both seeing over 50-micron PM2.5 dust particle levels.
Wiang Pang Kham, a sub-district in Chiang Rai has recorded 247 microns, signaling extremely poor air quality. The Pollution Control Department said on its air4thai website that air quality is expected to deteriorate even more tomorrow through Friday, as a result of the air being stale.
A forest fire, in the meantime, is not helping air pollution as a team of firefighters are trying to put it out in Chiang Mai’s Samoeng district. 2 helicopters have joined the fight to extinguish the fires that started on Monday night, with hundreds of acres of land having been destroyed by the wildfire. The Samoeng Fire Station chief, Chakra Dissayanan, told CityNews that villagers burning crops caused the wildifre.
“There has been no forest fires in the area for many years, this caused dry leaves to accumulate into a large amount the created fuel for the wildfire. The reason the wildfire spread so quickly is that this is a bamboo forest.”
In Mae Hong Son, forest fires have been going for 3 days, ruining about 1,000 rai of mountain forest in the Muang district, sparking concerns for the Ban Nam Phiang Din area. Provincial authorities say a lack of “buffer zones” are the reasons the fires spread quickly. Officials say the Pai River would stop the fire from spreading into the residential areas.
A total of 119 hot spots from wildfires were reported in Mae Hong Son, with 20 in Pai district, 42 in Muang, 18 in Mae Sariang, 13 in Pang Ma Pha, 6 in Sop Moei and 10 in Khun Yuam and Mae La Noi. The army recently closed down forest areas in 17 northern provinces until the end of April to stop bushfires which have attributed to air pollution.
SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times
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