It was on a dark and smoky day

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Dear Editor,

Yesterday I went for a walk at the fitness park on Pratamnak Hill. After 200 meters along the slope a heavy smoke hit me and other walkers and joggers. We covered our noses and ran out of the smoke filled area. I looked back and saw two men burning leaves and branches of the trees. I don’t know if burnt trees are toxic or not, but our eyes and noses stung badly and the odor was bad.

As it was very windy and dry, I also got concerned about the spread of the fire, so I called Pattaya Call Center.

I: “There’s a huge branch burning on fitness park and the smoke is disturbing the joggers and the wind is very strong right now, I’m concerned about the fire spreading.”

Girl: “Yes, Ma’am, at the moment, it’s still burning.”

I: “Oh thank you for telling me what I’m telling you. My call is for you to report to a concerned department.”

Girl: “I will ask my supervisor.”

I: “Just ask? Could you give me the tourist police number please?”

Girl: “Sure Ma’am.”

She gave me a wrong number, a young child answered and giggled. I called the call center again and another girl gave me a different number this time.

Tourist Police: “This is Lt. Blah blah blah…”

I: “Hello sir, I want to report a wood burning on the fitness hill.”

TP: Where is that?

I: “Fitness park right opposite your office, sir.”

TP: “I don’t see anything.”

(I to self, “If you’d get off you butt and look out the window you might see a very heavy smoke blowing over the hill like a house is on fire.”)

I: “The smoking hill just outside your door, sir.”

TP with a pleasant voice: “Well I’m not the fire department, I don’t have a hose to extinguish the fire, you’ll have to call the Call Center.”

I: “I just did and the girl there said she would ask someone, but I just thought that you are right there and should be aware of the situation and maybe liaise with the right person?  The joggers, adults and children alike are coughing, the weather is dry and the wind is strong, the fire could spread…”

TP: “You’ll need to call the city call center, ma’am.”

I: “Ok, thank you so very much for you kind help.”

On my second lap to the same location about 20 minutes later, the fire stopped, and the two burners were gone. Not sure if the TP handled it, the Call Center handled it, or the burners just saw my camera and stopped burning. No further comments.

Walker