Thailand Business News

PM urges stringent punishment of forest arsonists

BANGKOK (NNT) – The air pollution level this morning has been of concern in nine northern provinces due to active forest fires in the region. The Prime Minister has urged related officials to identify and take legal action against the arsonists responsible.

Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces are now severely affected by forest fire haze, while the situation has started to improve in other provinces in the lower northern region. It is expected that forecast thunderstorms in some areas will help mitigate the problem of haze and airborne particles.

The Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked villagers to refrain from burning branches, leaves, agricultural by-products, or setting fires in the forest according to the schedule released by each province.

Villagers are encouraged to be on alert and to inform local officials on any unauthorized burning, while local agencies must communicate with villagers about the consequences of forest burning.

The Prime Minister has ordered related agencies to trace and prosecute those responsible for forest fires, in order to set an example to the general public, while village-level personnel are now required to support the operations and monitor the situation, along with overhead drones which help identify hotspots, trace arsonists, and support firefighting operations in hard-to-reach areas.

Today’s data from the Pollution Control Department shows the overall air quality across the country varying between very good to unhealthy, with the PM 2.5 airborne dust level ranging from 7 to 273 micrograms per cubic meter.

Areas with unhealthy air quality are mainly in the northern region, especially Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phrae, Phayao, and Tak. The highest airborne dust level today has been recorded at Mueang Khong subdistrict, Chiang Mai.

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