CHIANG RAI – Governors in Northern provinces with an air pollution problem have ordered an end to slash-and-burn farming practices and are using artificial rainmaking to fight against the dust.
Prajon Prachsakul, the Governor of Chiang Rai, has announced that there will be a 60-day burning ban throughout the province starting Feb. 15.
The ban includes any fire for the purposes of burning garbage, debris, leaves or any other form of burning in all open spaces.
Those found breaching the ban may be found liable for a fine of up to 25,000 baht and/or three months in jail.
In an effort to combat the process of widespread burning after the ban is lifted, from the period April 15 through to May 15 no burning of any kind may take place in the province without the permission of a local sheriff.
Former Chiang Rai Governor and now Governor of Phayao Province Narongsak Osatanakorn Saturday also issued a Burning ban commencing on Feb, 15th.
“The farm burning practice must be paused because it can lead to health hazardous dust that is detrimental to the health of small children, the elderly and those suffering respiratory diseases,” Mr Narongsak said.
Before harvesting, it is normal for farmers to openly burn the farm land to clear waste. This slash-and-burning method, sometimes termed “open burning”, is a major cause of the fine dust known as PM2.5.
Government officials down to village headman as well as members of the public are asked to report any fire they notice during the burning ban to 0-5371-2603.
Meanwhile, the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation has recently conducted rainmaking to ease smog in critically haze-hit provinces like Bangkok which closed more that 400 schools due to toxic smog.