Fri, July 01, 2022

in-focus

PM10 pollution still rising despite woodland-fire ban


A governor’s directive to bar entry to reserve forest lands and parks to reduce hazardous pollution in the North has so far failed to reverse the amount of PM10 particulates in Mae Hong Song.

Thursday morning saw a climb to 172 micrograms per cubic metre in the quantity of inhalable particulates with a diameter of around 10 micrometres (PM10) – resulting in a delayed flight into May Hong Song airport.
The jump, the highest reading in the region for the day, has been largely attributed to forest fires deliberately set by locals following traditional harvesting practices.
Chiang Mai’s Muang district had the second-highest reading of the day at 123 micrograms, according to the Pollution Control Department.
A source in the long-necked Karen hill-tribal village of Ban Huai Sua Thao in Muang Mae Hong Son said the number of visitors to the attraction was down by 80 per cent due to the seasonal haze.
Nok Air delayed the arrival time of its flight DD 8214 for seven hours, shifting it from 9am to 4.45pm due to poor visibility of under two kilometres, said a source at the Mae Hong Son airport.
The flight is reported to be carrying Thai Smile Airways executives and delegates travelling to the northern province to find ways to promote the route, the source said.
The haze in Mae Hong Son has been bad this week with PM10 readings beyond the 120-microgram safe limit starting last Saturday. Forest fires are seen as the cause. According to a report by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), Mae Hong Son on Tuesday had 108 fire incidents.
In Phayao's Dok Kham Tai district, a brush fire on Thursday morning damaged two rai (.32 hectares) of grass meadows within the Dok Kham Tai Technical College and threatened to ignite the college teachers' residence compound.
Firefighters spent two hours extinguishing the blaze, which was suspected to have begun when a villager lit a fire while foraging in the woodland for food and other necessities.

Published : March 29, 2018

By : Tossapon Boonpat, Pannawich Yoodee The Nation