6 June 2024

Two air quality monitoring stations will be set up, in addition to the existing four in Chiang Mai province, to monitor smoke and dust from forest fires, which are expected to begin sooner than in previous years.

Director of the Environment and Pollution Control Office in Chiang Mai, Pradit Seesai, said today (Wednesday) that forest fires are expected sooner as a result of the premature arrival of the dry season, as he cited a forest fire on Huai Yap mountain, bordering Ban Thi district of Lamphun Province and Mae On district of Chiang Mai, which was reported on November 20th by members of the paramotor club in Chiang Mai.

Smoke from the burning of farm waste was also detected in nearby areas, he added.

Pradit said that the two additional monitoring stations will enhance the capability to detect smoke and dust, caused by forest fires, burning of farm waste and emissions from factories in northern provinces.

He appealed to villagers to refrain from burning farm waste in open spaces or setting forest fires to hunt for wild animals.

Air pollution tends to get worse during the cold season, as weather is dry and air circulation is poor, which make ideal conditions for the spread of forest fires in northern Thailand and neighbouring countries, such as Myanmar, where controls are virtually non-existent.