Authorities control forest fire in northern provinces

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LAMPANG, Feb 3 – Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi ordered northern provinces to take smog and forest fire problems seriously over a 80-day period when the problem could worsen.

The deputy prime minister met local authorities in Lampang and Tak on Sunday to discuss the smog and forest fire problems at the Lampang government centre.

He ordered close monitoring to prevent forest fires from January 21 to April 30, the peak period when forest fires normally occur.

He said man-made burning must be banned. Lampang has 2.2 million acres forest. Among 1,027 fire spots, 85 percent occurred in the forest and the remaining 15 percent in residential zones.

Legal action will be taken against proprietors who set fires in the forest. If a preliminary warning does not work to control a fire, all provinces have to check hotspots via satellite images everyday to monitor fire in community areas, farmlands, and in the forest.

Meanwhile, Suwat Promsuwan, Tak deputy governor, said smog is mainly caused by forest fire, which accounts for 60 percent. Tak has 3.8 million acre of forest. However, rainfalls last week has alleviated the problem.  (MCOT online news)