CHIANG RAI – Smoke and haze from man-made forest fires and burning of agricultural fields along the Thai-Myanmar border poses a health risk in this northern province, with Mae Sai border district being badly hit.
Particulate matter in Mae Sai municipality was measured at 215 microgrammes per cubic metres at 7am on Saturday, exceeding safe levels.
In Muang district, thick smoke and dust blanketed downtown areas as particulate matter was reported at 168mg per cu/m against a health standard level of 120mg per cu/m.
Forest fires and burning of farmland and garbage along the border opposite Mae Sai district have been blamed for the thick smoke in this northern province.
Capt Chonlathai Rattanaruang, commander of a navy patrol unit along the Mekong River in Chiang Rai, on Saturday deployed water trucks to spray water to reduce dust particles in Chiang Saen district as thick smoke caused poor visibility in the river.
He said he would coordinate with the neighbouring country in asking local residents to stop clearing farmland by fire.
By Chinpat Chaimon