CHIANG RAI – The Pollution Control Department in Chiang Rai reported levels of small particulate matter smaller than 10 microns (PM10) have declined in many parts of the North.
Areas where levels of PM10 remain above the safety level of 120 micrograms per cubic meter include Mae Sot district in Tak province, Muang district and Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province, Muang district in Chiang Mai province and Muang district in Mae Hong Son province.
Local farmers have been urged to refrain from slash-and-burn farming in order to lessen the intensity of the crisis.
Thailand’s Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda has ordered Chiang Rai’s Governor and other Northern Governors to raise understanding with farmers about the danger of wildfires and ask them to stop burning farmland after harvesting.
The order came in his serious concern over rising problems caused by wildfires and the burning of agricultural land and forests to make way for new crops by farmers.
The Minister said burning of farmland was more frequent in the harvesting season and causing haze and other environmental problems. He said all governors must raise public awareness among farmers about danger of careless burning and encourage them to take part in forest protection and fire control in their own community.
The minister also urged the authorities concerned to work out a sustainable approach to solve the burning practice by farmers.