Thailand’s National Environment Board is set to convene on March 15 to discuss forest fire and haze issues plaguing the country. The meeting comes after the Office of the ASEAN Secretary-General issued a “Second Level Alert” to all member countries, requesting their cooperation in tackling the issue.
According to satellite images from the Geoinformatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GITSDA) on Saturday (4 Mar), the past week has seen a critical escalation in the forest fire and PM2.5 dust levels in Thailand’s north and northeast, with over 2,500 hotspots detected in farm and forest areas across the country, and thousands more in neighboring countries.
Most hotspots in Thailand were found to be concentrated in forests. The three provinces with the most hotspots were Kanchanaburi, Tak and Mae Hong Son.
Jatuporn Buruspat, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, explained that the Office of the ASEAN Secretary-General issued the alert after more than 150 hotspots were detected in a single day.
Member nations are expected to continue their prevention and preparedness actions, conduct ground fire suppression as soon as possible to extinguish fires, and use water bombing to suppress fires. Burned areas will also be closely monitored and weekly reports on the current situation and actions taken by ASEAN member states are to be submitted. (NNT)