Agency reports deteriorating air quality in Thailand’s North and Northeast

Photo by GISTDA Facebook.

Air quality in Thailand’s North and Northeast is deteriorating mostly due to farmers burning waste, and villagers lighting fires in forests. Thai PBS reports that the air quality “may” pose a risk to people’s health. The country’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency said that on Tuesday there were 1,060 ‘hot spots’ across Thailand. 110 of the hotspots were in Chiang Mai province, and 92 were in Lampang province. The hot spots are leading to increasing levels of PM2.5 dust.

In addition to farmers burning waste, villagers often light fires in forests while they hunt for animals, pick produce, or clear plants ahead of the rainy season. 301 of the 1,060 hot spots on Tuesday were in forest reserves, and 254 were in conserved forests. 248 were in farming areas, and 146 were in land reform areas. 104 were in local communities, and seven were along highways.

Even though burning is causing most of the hot spots, GISTDA says it is also concerned about dust levels in surrounding countries, since winds have been blowing dust into Thailand. GISTDA said there were 4,212 hot spots in Myanmar, 2479 in Laos, and 1,743 in Cambodia during the same time as there were 1,060 in Thailand.

On Tuesday, GISTDA posted a graphic of the hot spots in Thailand on Facebook.

Agency reports deteriorating air quality in Thailand's North and Northeast | News by Thaiger
A graphic of ‘hot spots’, where there is high risk of bad air quality. Photo by GISTDA.


Northern Thailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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