New Command Center opened against fires and smog
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Putthipong Sirimart opened the new Chiang Mai Smog and Wildfire Solutions Center 2017 – 2018 to act as a command center to fight forest fires and wild fires in National Parks, wildlife reserves, conservation areas and forest areas. The Center will work to build cooperation from all sectors to analyze the problems and arrange operation teams to stop fires from spreading. The cooperation will be at all levels, from village to sub-district to district and provincial.
The Province has already issued two announcements regarding the prevention of fires; those lighting fires in all areas including agricultural after February 20, 2017, will face a fine of 150,000 baht and imprisonment up to 15 years. Last year 18 people were arrested in Chiang Mai and the government has told government officials at all levels to take responsibility for monitoring the situation and announce restrictions and fines clearly to the local people.
Fire restrictions will be put in place at a Provincial level from February 20 to April 20, 2017 but local areas may choose to extend that period as needed. Meetings will be held every Tuesday to track progress at the Command Center.