6 June 2024

As air pollution from PM2.5 dust and forest fire smoke in Chiang Mai has exceeded the safety level, with the problem likely to get worse, Governor Nirat Pongsitthavorn sought cooperation from both the private and public sectors yesterday, by allowing their staff to work from home today (Friday).

In the official request, the private and government sectors were asked to allow their staff to work from home, if doing so would not adversely affect public services or ability of companies to continue doing business.

Both the private and public sectors are advised to hold meetings through teleconferences. The public sector was also asked to consider opening dust-free facilities for members of the public

Entertainment venues and eateries are asked to arrange for air-conditioned rooms for their customers as a first priority.

People who are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution, such as small children, pregnant women, the elderly and people who have underlying diseases, are advised to stay home or reduce outdoor activities.

All child care centres, which are not air-conditioned, were told to suspend classes, while venues for outdoor activities in public parks were also told to close.

These measures are effective today only and, if there are any changes, another announcement will be issued by the governor.

Meanwhile, in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, the border remains shrouded in smoke from forest fires near the Tachileik township in Myanmar, across the border from Mae Sai.

The PM2.5 level at 7am today was measured at 353 microns,which dramatically exceeds the safety level of 50.

District officials said that forest fires reignited at about 8pm last night in Tachileik and were clearly visible from the Thai side of the border.

In the Doi Tung development project, in Mae Sai and Mae Fah Luang districts, forest fires are now under control, but officials and fire-fighting volunteers are still on standby incase the fires reignite.