Chiang Mai blanketed by haze from forest fires


CHIANG MAI – Chiang Mai’s 20 districts have been shrouded by smog from forest fires as the level of ultra-fine particulate matter has risen sharply.

Air CMI application showed the level of tiny dust in Chiang Mai’s 25 districts surpassed 100 microgrammes per cubic metres as of 9 am. on Friday. The worst air pollution was recorded at 278 mcg in Mae Taeng district, followed by 248 mcg in Om Koi district and 240 mcg in Mae Chaem district. The Chiang Mai city was measured at 191 mcg. The safe threshold is 50 mcg.

Chiang Mai has faced forest fires in several areas. Yesterday, the forest fire broke out at PhaLuang in the Sri Lanna national park. The area is steep ravine, difficult to access on foot. A helicopter carried water from a reservoir to contain the fire finally.

Local authorities in charge of addressing the haze problem yesterday reported 47 hotspots. So far, 43 hotspots have been extinguished, causing damage to 328 rai of land (about 130 acres).

The remaining four hotspots in Chiang Dao district occurred in the mountaintops, posing difficult for fire-fighting operations.