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Officials Pledge Readiness for Haze Season in Northern Thailand

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Thailand Officials have promised to better prepare to deal with the upcoming bush fire and haze season in northern Thailand. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation promised complete readiness.

The bush fires — which are a source of haze with particulate dust PM2.5. Usually start at the end of the year and last until March. Causing severe haze and air pollution and the destruction of thousands of Rai of forest land.

From October of last year until April this year, firefighters put out 7,607 wildfires in the northern region. The wildfires damaged a total of 167,543 Rai of forest. Blanketing northern Thailand in a toxic haze.

Therefore the steps to be taken is preventing fires at targeted hot spots by sending more officials and firefighters to these locations.

The department has defined these hot spots based on forest fire data collected over a period of three years.

For this year, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been ordered by the government to achieve “zero hot spots” in vulnerable provinces. That means between March 15 and April 30 — the peak time for the forest fires, some hot spots must be free of fire, he said.

 

Vulnerable provinces of the upcoming bush fire season are; Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Phrae, Nan, Phayao, Lamphun, Tak and Lampang.

In a related development, levels of PM2.5. Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 3% that of a human hair — also rose on Friday.

Pralong Damrongthai, director-general of the Pollution Control Department said yesterday that the level of PM2.5 in some areas of Bangkok reached a “slightly unsafe level”. The so-called safe threshold is 50 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³).