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Environment Minister Sets Up “War Room” to Monitor Haze in Northern Thailand

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Farmers in Chiang Rai continue to burn fileds despite burning ban

Farmers in Chiang Rai continue to burn fileds despite burning ban

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CHIANG RAI – Minister for Natural Resources and Environment Gen. Surasak Karnjanarat said a ‘War Room’ has been set up at the Department of Water Resources’ headquarters to monitor the haze situation in the northern part of Thailand.

Gen Surasak Karnjanarat said the war room will be keeping a close watch on smoke and forest fires in 9 northern provinces including Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nan, Phrae, Phayao,Tak, Lampang, Lamphun and Mae Hong Son.

The war room will also act as coordinating center between responsible agencies as well as exchange useful information with them.

In addition, the minister said the government’s effort to tackle haze and wildfires has been very successful while asking northern residents to avoid unnecessary burning activities and heed suggestions from local authorities in their respective areas.

Gen Surasak said the Third Army will provide a command centre to coordinate efforts to tackle the issue if the situation deteriorates.The ministry has prepared helicopters to fight fires, while additional military resources are on standby.

Staff from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Royal Forest Department and the Interior Ministry have been deployed alongside soldiers to meet locals and ask them not to burn forest and farm areas, which is the main cause of the haze, Gen Surasak said.

According to the Department of Pollution Control, haze levels been rising every year.

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