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Ministerial officials in 9 northern provinces ordered to join forest fire-tackling efforts


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Ministerial officials in 9 northern provinces ordered to join forest fire-tackling efforts

By Tossapol Boonpat 
The Nation

 

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FOLLOWING unsafe levels of PM2.5 in Mae Hong Son province for four consecutive days due to forest fires, a senior official has called on all ministerial offices in nine haze-affected provinces in the North to jointly fight the fires and explain operational progress to the media.

 

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The order was issued yesterday by Wijarn Simachaya, permanent secretary of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

 

The Pollution Control Department report at 9am cited tambon Jong Kham in Mae Hong Son’s Muang district as having 68 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic metre of air, well beyond the Thai safety level of 50mcg. The tambon’s Air Quality Index (AQI) score stood at 142, which is beyond the safety limit of 100. 

 

Levels of PM2.5 in the North ranged from 32-71 micrograms, with tambon Nai Wiang in Nan’s Muang district recording 71mcg, while Lampang’s tambon Phra Baht in Muang district and tambon Ban Dong in Mae Mo district both recorded 70mcg.

 

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Mae Hong Son Governor Sirirat Chamupakarn notified the Mae Hong Son Prevention and Suppression of Forest Fire and Haze Centre that the province was “in the process of fuel management”. This entails “Ching Pao” – prescribed burning (applying low-intensity fire to a predetermined area to clear materials that can ignite an out-of-control forest fire), making fertiliser from agricultural waste and burying farm waste as per each district’s action plan. 

 

Sirirat said the prescribed burning was usually conducted at 3pm, and that related agencies’ officials will be on stand-by to control and keep the flames within the desirable zone.

 

Mae Hong Son has for four consecutive days experienced beyond-safety levels of PM2.5 dust particles, due to forest fires that have gone out of control and are difficult to extinguish because of the province’s steep mountainous terrain. 

 

In the latest incident, a forest fire took hold in Huai Pong Khae village territory – located just behind City Hall – in Muang district’s tambon Pang Moo, with thick billowing smoke that could be seen from afar. 

 

On Sunday alone, a satellite report cited 25 hot spots or forest fires in Mae Hong Son, 10 of which were in Pai district. 

 

Meanwhile, Wijarn instructed the ministry’s provincial branch offices to help the nine northern provinces to curb the prevailing haze and forest fires, periodically update the ministry on operational progress and call for water-spraying helicopters in severe cases such as an earlier forest fire on Lampang’s Phra Baht mountainside.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30364734

 

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 -- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-26
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1 hour ago, webfact said:

a senior official has called on all ministerial offices in nine haze-affected provinces in the North

why is thailand such a mess ? officials have to be told to do their jobs

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Let’s face it it is all talk and hardly any action.
Since decades now these people have promised to take action and every year it is the same.
I can see the fires burning on the mountains around Chiang Mai every night since more than a week now and nothing is done.
For the benefit of a few greedy people we all have to suffer and breath toxic air.
Forrests have been systematically destroyed for profit (and we all know by whom) and can never be recovered what was once real forrest with gigantic trees is now bare land and bushes.
This has been going on for a long, long time - I read a book in which a German company in the international wood trade opens an office in Bangkok in the 1960’s and it describes the corruption involved in Thailand’s tropical hardwood trade.

The people who start the fires know exactly what they are doing is wrong - a Thai friend recently explained to me how they use delayed fire starting tactics so that they are not around when the fires start.
Greed and short term thinking is the problem here - for money people destroy nature systematically until it is too late.




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3 hours ago, webfact said:

Sirirat said the prescribed burning was usually conducted at 3pm, and that related agencies’ officials will be on stand-by to control and keep the flames within the desirable zone. 

Does that mean we'll see local governors with hoses and fire blankets?

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

the province was “in the process of fuel management”. This entails “Ching Pao” – prescribed burning

So the best they have come up with is to spend all their money to set new fires in order to "reduce" smog. That's just genius. What about planting fire resistant vegetation or other techniques to make these firewalls? Then run the leaf blower periodically to keep it clear as needed. All they really need to do is check forestry management elsewhere in the world and choose a good option. There is no need for these close minded brainstorming sessions where all they do is come up with more fires as a solution which are harming the forests they are supposed to be protecting and choking the entire population.

 

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