Smoke haze which has been covering Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Lampang and Mae Hong Son provinces for the past several weeks has become a serious health hazard especially for outdoor activities.
Air pollutants from smokes caused by forest fires were measured at 243microgramme per cubic metre in Mae Hong Son, 219 mcg/cm in Chiang Rai, 148 mcg/cm in Phayao, 146 mcg/cm in Chiang Mai, 132 mcg/cm in Lampang, 126 mcg/cm in Phrae, and 174 mcgm/cm in Nan.
The northern meteorological centre expected the smoke haze problem to ease during April 3-6 when freak storms might bring rains which would help douse some of the forest fires.
Air quality tests showed that the amount of dust particles in Mae Sai district was measured at 217 micrograms/cubic metre which excessively higher than standard and pose a real health threat. In Muang district of Chiang Rai, the amount of dust particles was measured at 190 micrograms/cubic metre.
It was reported that many residents in Mae Sai are experiencing eye ichiness and throat inflammation. To deal with the health problem, provincial authorities have launched a campaign to dissuade crop burnings which are a major cause of forest fires.
Mr Worayarn Bunnaraj, Mae Fah Luang district officer, pointed out that forest fires in Myanmar pose a real concern whereas forest fires in Chiang Rai province are controllable.
He disclosed that about 300 local officials and paramilitary rangers had been deployed in the areas of Doi Tung development project to look out for forest fires around the clock.