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Northern Thailand sees dangerous levels of pollution



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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  1. Colin G

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Microns ? What are you talking about ?

    The measure for particulates is μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre)

  2. Brian Marshall

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    The Thai authorities are piss weak or taking backhanders. There is a very simple solution to the annual burning. Put army units up in the forests. Anyone lighting a fire gets an automatic 10 year jail sentence and their land is confiscated.It will stop it in a year guaranteed.
    The cost to the country in terms of health issues is astronomical but they couldn’t give a shit for a short term financial gain. Educate the people, improve the soil instead of burning everything,make compost.

  3. Peter Sattler

    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 8:33 am

    How many dedicated firefighting aircraft could be bought for the price of one submarine?

  4. Sierra

    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 6:53 am

    A horrible stain on Thailand’s reputation. The whole north of Phuket is hell for 5 months a year.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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