CHIANG RAI – Government officials from Thailand and Myanmar have met in Chiang Rai to discuss solutions to choking haze issue affecting the two countries.
Officials from Chiang Rai Province led by Col Chakret Siripong held an unofficial meeting with local officials of Myanmarâ€™s Tachileik Town, addressing the issue of smoke and haze which has escalated during the past 2-3 days.
From this meeting, Thai officials learned of Myanmarâ€™s burning prohibition measures to reduce the airborne particulate matter for 60 days starting from 17 February to 16 April 2016.
The officials then observed the operation of spraying water mist at border crossing points, held by local authorities in Thailand to bring down particulate matter.
The air pollution index in Chiang Rai has continued to spike above safety levels for several days.
Meanwhile, Authorities in Chiang Rai are working around the clock to tackle the ongoing haze crisis.
Provincial and military officers are joining forces in the fight against the persistent haze after smoke caused by this weekâ€™s wildfires.
Authorities are spraying water widely to reduce haze and increase humidity levels in theÂ â€œGolden Triangleâ€, an area of around 950,000 square kilometers that encompases the mountains of Myanmar, Lao PDR and Thailand.
The people of Chiang Rai as well as visitors to the area have been asked to refrain from any burning activity.
In addition, Thai authorities will ask for cooperation from neighboring countries regarding the haze crisis.
The Ministry of Science and Technology is stepping up measures to suppress wildfires and burning activities at present causing thick haze in the province of Chiang Mai.
At a seminar in Chiang Mai, Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said the number of hot-spots or fire-prone areas in nine northern provinces had reduced from 4,000 to 2,000 this year.
Even so, he said the ministry had instructed responsible agencies to implement proactive measures to tackle the wildfires and haze.
The Minister earlier met with representatives from Geo-Informatics and the Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) and discussed the possibility of using hot-spot detection technology and satellite imaging to better handle the ongoing problem.
By Tanakorn Sangiam