CHIANG RAI – Gen Surasak Kanjanarat of Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment said today that the haze situation in Chiang Rai is unlikely to be as bad this year as favourable weather has seen a reduction in the number of hotspots in Northern Thailand.
Speaking at a Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution, Gen Surasak said the ministry expects 20% fewer hotspots in Chiang Rai this summer and that so far the number of hotspots has dropped by half, helped by a pattern of weather which has prevented the north from getting too dry.
The number of hotspots in the North this month was less than 300, compared with 600 in the same period last year, according to the ministry.
Gen Surasak said countries in the Sub-Mekong Region have agreed to control forest hotspots by raising public awareness regarding forest fire prevention and law enforcement.
He added that staff of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and the Department of Royal Forest are working to dissuade local communities from resorting to slash-and-burn practices.
The agencies also removed a load of scrap wood from the forests, which fuels bush fires.