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Fewer fires, but dust levels above safety in the north

Chiang Mai and four northern provinces yesterday reported amounts of fine dust in air as beyond the maximum safety standard of 120 micrograms.

Acting director of the Chiang Mai Natural Resources and Environmental Office, Prayad Ananpradit, said the air quality station at downtown Yupparat Wittayalai School reported the fine dust amount at 125 micrograms per cubic metre, while a City Hall station reported 122 micrograms per cubic metre. They were the year's first readings in the province. The province's average pollution remains at under 100 micrograms.

Chiang Rai reported 134 to 136 micrograms, Phayao 183 micrograms, Nan 150 micrograms and Lampang 184 micrograms.

From February 1 until March 9, Chiang Mai saw 500 hot spots -about half of the last year's same period at 1,000 hot spots - and 345 forest fires damaging a total of 2,822 rai of forestland. The figure was down from some 700 forest fires during the same period last year, he said.




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