11 July 2024

Officials from the national park and related agencies in Thailand’s northern province of Lamphun have developed plans to prevent forest fires, expected to increase due to the accumulation of natural fuels, during this year’s dry season.

Park officials pointed out that fewer forest fires last dry season means there are more fallen leaves and branches which have been left unburned.

Although no forest fires have been reported so far this dry season, they said that some villagers have already started burning weeds and farm waste, especially in longan plantations.

626 hot spots were reported in the last dry season, from January until the end of May this year. A total of 13,604 hectares of forest were burned, resulting in an excessive amount of PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere of Lamphun for 11 days.

Teams of park officials and fire fighters have been conducting foot patrols through the forests in Makhuea Chae sub-district on a daily basis, as part of their fire prevention measures.

In the meantime, other officials have approached villagers living on the edge of the forests to solicit their cooperation inwatching out for fires and not starting fires in the forests or burning farm waste.

The villagers usually start fires in forests while hunting wild animals.

In Bangkok today (Thursday), Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said that the ministry will seek cooperation from the Federation of Thai Industries and car dealers to launch a promotion urging motorists to have their car engines serviced and tuned up, especially diesel engines, to reduce exhaust emissions.

He expressed concern over the problem of PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere caused by forest fires in the provinces and exhaust emissions from cars in Bangkok.