By The Nation | 11 April 2019
All nine northern provinces, including Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, on Thursday morning, cited dangerous levels of PM2.5 – airborne particulates 2.5 microns or less in diameter.
As of 1.30pm on Wednesday, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency’s fire monitoring system showed that there were 145 hot spots in Mae Hong Son (28 in Sop Moei, 28 in Mae Sariang, nine in Mae La Noi, 21 in Khun Yuam, 23 in Muang, five in Pang Mapha, and 31 in Pai).
Myanmar had 5,048 hot spots and Laos had 4,035 hot spots.
Muang district chief Pongpira Chuchen said the Tambon Pang Moo special task team conducted a survey of area and water sources to formulate an effective plan to use MI-17 helicopters to aid firefighting in steep mountain areas.
So far, water-spraying helicopters had conducted 300 flights in Mae Sariang and Sop Moei.
Forest fires and haze also ravaged Phayao province. Tambon Ban Tom in Muang district cited the PM2.5 level at 99 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
Muang Phayao district chief Suwit Suriyawong said there were two major forest fires in Tambon Mae Na Rua and Tambon Ban Mai.
Tambon Ban Mai fire destroyed 100 rai of conserved forestland, he added.
Chiang Mai Air Quality Health Index Center as of Thursday morning showed the hourly result of Air Quality Index (AQI) in various Chiang Mai districts with Tambon Muang Khong of Chiang Dao district having the worst AQI value of 341, followed by Tambon Yang Mern of Samoeng district (312) and Tambon Muang Haeng of Wiang Haeng district (310).
In the meantime, the Pollution Control Department at 9am put the 24-hour average of PM2.5 between 63 mcg and 152 mcg in nine northern provinces. The Thai safe limit is 50.
Tambon Wiang Phang Kham in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district was worst off at 152 mcg followed by Tambon Huai Kon in Nan’s Chalermphrakiat district (125 mcg), Tambon Chang Kerng in Chiang Mai’s Mae Chaem district (101 mcg) and Tambon Chang Pheuk in Muang Chiang Mai (93 mcg).