Thailand makes extra efforts to fight forest fires


Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Patcharawat Wongsuwan on March 10 worked with forestry officials from 17 northern provinces to seek measures to combat forest fires.

He stressed that increased surveillance and patrols on protected forest areas will be enforced, and any trespassers caught starting forest fires, a major source of PM 2.5 pollution, will face strict legal action.

The Pollution Control Department reported that air quality in most 17 northern provinces remained at unsafe levels on March 11, with concentrations of PM 2.5 pollutants in some areas of Chiang Rai province reaching 113.7 micrograms per cubic metre, three times higher than the national safe limit of 37.5.

According to the Thai Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, 1,031 fire hotspots were detected in the Southeast Asian nation on March 10, mostly in conserved areas and national forest reserves.

In 2023, 10.5 million patients in Thailand, primarily in the northern and northeastern provinces, were diagnosed with air pollution-related diseases, a 3.6% rise from the previous year, Ministry of Public Health data showed.

Source: VNA Tuesday, March 12, 2024 10:08