The airborne dust situation in Thailand has worsened due to better air movement and intensified southerly winds. Nonetheless, certain areas in the country remain afflicted by considerable air pollution. One such location is Hot district in Chiang Mai province where the AQI reading has reached an alarming figure of 287.
Officials and firefighting personnel are still hard at work in Op Luang national park in Hot district, Chiang Mai province. Wildfires have occurred in many areas of the national park and in other areas of Hot district. The PM2.5 reading was recorded at 177 micrograms per cubic meter today (8 February), which is more than 3 times the national safety threshold.
PM2.5 stands for particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. Thailand’s safety threshold for PM2.5 is 50 micrograms per cubic meter.
Hot district’s AQI reading, which reflects the amount of air pollution, rose to 287 and is still rising. Impacts on people’s health are to be expected with readings being in this range.
Firefighters have not been able to put out many fires in the district as they were situated on mountaintops. Helicopters have been used to douse the fires in hopes of keeping them under control and reducing the sources of smoke from fires. Chiang Mai authorities reported there are 125 wildfire hotspots today. 684 forest fires have occurred since the beginning of the year.
The provincial governor of Chiang Mai is asking for people to refrain from all types of burning activity during this period. February 15 to April 30 have been designed at the province’s no-burn period. All types of open-air burning carry legal penalties during the said period. (NNT)