CHIANG RAI – As the haze worsens in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, many locals have reported they suffer from nose and eye irritation, while the authorities have been trying to ease problems by spraying water in the air and banning all kinds of outdoor fires.
Citing government concern over the haze, PM’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul yesterday instructed local officials to find solutions to the problem and called on people to not burn anything outdoors.
Some 658 wild fires have reportedly damaged 5,694 rai of forestland this month and created 957 hot spots so far.
The Pollution Control Department reports Chiang Rai at 314 micrograms per cubic metre of air (mcg), Lamphun 212 mcg, Nan 205 mcg and Phrae 158 mcg. The safety level is 120 mcg.
Meanwhile, the visibility issue at Chiang Mai Airport improved slightly to about 2,000 metres yesterday so air traffic was not affected, airport deputy director Kittiya Kontong said. On Monday, five flights had to be diverted and 175 flights delayed due to poor visibility.
The airport will be monitoring the situation closely so they can facilitate passengers, he said.
“If the visibility on the runway is less than 800 metres, the decision to land is in the hands of the pilot,” he said.
Mae Fah Luang Airport in Chiang Rai has already prepared bays to serve any flights diverted from Chiang Mai.