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Air Quality in Northern Thailand at Very Unsafe Levels Due to WildFires

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The Pollution Control Department has reported very unsafe air quality levels were reported in nine northern provinces on Wednesday.  Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae and Sukhothai – and worst was in Nan.

The Pollution Control Department said hazardous levels of particulate matter 2.5 micrometers and less in diameter (PM2.5) over the previous 24 hours in the North. The government-set safe threshold is 50 microgrammes per cubic metre of air.

In Chiang Mai, the levels were at 119mcg in tambon Chang Phuak of Muang district and 234mg in tambon Muang Khong of Chiang Dao district.

In Lampang, the levels were at 107mcg in tambon Phra Bat of Muang district, 106mcg in tambon Mae Moh of Mae Moh district.

In Chiang Rai, the levels were at 119mcg in tambon Wiang of Muang district and 197mcg in tgambon Wiang Phang Kham of Mae Sai district. In Mae Hong Son, the level was in 92mcg in tambon Jong Kham of Muang district.

In Nan, the levels were at 139mcg in tambon Nai Wiang of Muang district and 275mcg in tambon Huai Kone of Chalerm Phrakiat district.

PM2.5 measured 121mcg in tambon Na Chak of Muang district in Phrae, 116mcg in tambon Ban Tom of Muang district in Phayao, 97mcg in tambon Thani of Muang district in Sukhothai, and 114mcg in tambon Nai Muang of Muang district in Kamphaeng Phet.

Lower unsafe levels of smog were also reported in other areas of Mae Chaem and Muang districts in Chiang Mai, Mae Moh district of Lampang, Muang district of Nakhon Sawan, Mae Sot district of Tak, Muang district of Phitsanulok, Muang district of Phichit, Muang district of Uttaradit and Wichan Buri district of Phetchabun.

Forest Fires in Northern Thailand

Thailand’s Environment Minister has said foragers and arsonists are responsible for several forest fires in Northern Thailand. Saying Fires in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park were deliberately started to cause trouble.

Environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa said some of the fires at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park in Chiang Mai were the result of villagers burning forest to aid foraging. Even more we found some people deliberately set fires to create mayhem. We do not know why they wished to do this,” Mr Varawut told the Bangkok Post.

The fires which began on March 23 and spread have been mostly subdued. Destroying more than 2,400 rai of forest, Mr Varawut said. He said more than 3,000 ministry employees were drafted in to help fight blazes in the North.

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