By Tossapol Boonpat | 13
Bush fires have devastated nearly 2.7 million rai (there are 2.5 Rai in an Acre) of forests in nine northern provinces.
The Mae Hong Son forest fire and haze control center says that satellite imaging from the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency shows that from January 1 to March 16, 2,680,634 rai was destroyed by wildfires.
But a source from the Royal Forest Department says people should not be overly alarmed by such high figures, as the wildfires had swept through dried, flammable materials on the floors of the forests, and most trees will once again start producing new leaves. The source said the fires had also thinned the hard shells of pods, so when the rains come, seedlings can sprout faster.
Unhealthy levels of smog were again recorded in the nine northern provinces and one province in the Central region, with Chiang Mai once again reaching the dubious honor as the world’s Number One worst polluted city.
Pralong Damrongthai, PCD director-general, said hazardous levels of air pollution were detected in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae and Tak provinces, as well as in the Central province of Nakhon Sawan.