Chiang Mai - The thick haze blanketing the North for days has forced Chiang Mai International Airport to turn on its runway lights and the Northern Royal Rainmaking Operations Centre to lay on more cloud-seeding flights.
Surapol Leelawaroros, director of the 16th conservation area's forest fire operation division, said this year has already seen 1,502 wildfires damaging 10,695 rai of forestland.
Doi Saket district fought the most fires at 167, followed by Hot district at 166 and Chom Thong district at 158.
This figure was slightly up from last year's 1,335 fires ruining 9,215 rai of forestland in the same period, he said.
Bush fires were not as worrisome as the outdoors fires lit intentionally by people or slash-and-burn farming, which were the people's way of life. These practices blurred the authority's antismog campaign.