Government addresses forest fire and haze problem in north


BANGKOK, 7 February 2014 The government is working to help solve the forest fire and haze problem in the north.

Mr. Chatchai Promlert, Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, made an urgent plea to people living in areas near forests to please stop burning materials between February to April as there are often serious forest fires that end up causing severe haze.

Many areas of the country experience such serious forest fires and haze, especially in the nine northern provinces, including: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son and Tak. Mr. Chatchai emphasized that locals should engage in rigorous management of these at-risk areas that are often harshly affected by haze.

To prepare and prevent forest fire and haze in the most vulnerable 65 provinces, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has joined hands with relevant local authorities to focus on proactive measures and to ask people in both community and agricultural areas to stop unnecessarily burning materials.

The province will perform comprehensive management with an emphasis on unified, rapid and concrete operations, including the use of preventative technology that can help mitigate forest fires and haze.

Mr. Chatchai said that all sectors have been integrated to help restore the devastated areas and offer relief to those who are victims of forest fires and haze. In case of severe situations, emergency help will be made available for disaster victims.

Citizens of these provinces have also been instructed to take protective measures to ensure protection of the forests and to keep close surveillance to help detect any problems.