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Chiang Mai Governor and 25 Chief Officers Discuss Smoke Pollution Sollutions

CityNews – Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, along with Vice Governor Puttipong Sirimart, held a video conference meeting with 25 district chief officers and other related authorities to report on the progress being made to combat smoke pollution, and discuss solutions to the burning taking place during the 51-day burning ban.

The government has been using satellites to identify burning ‘hotspots’ across Thailand, to help quantify the number of fires happening every day before, during and after the burning season. During the burning ban which started on March 1st, until April 2nd, Authorities identified 161 hotspots.

According to records provided by the governor, this number is a lot less than 2016 and 2017 where 566 and 522 hotposts were identified respectively.

The authorities however, do not identify what determines a ‘hotspot’ oh how large one particular hotspot can be.

MD Professor Chaicharn Pothirat, from the Department of Internal Medicine Chiang Mai University, has teamed up with authorities to help find ways to solve the smoke problem as well as find ways to share the correct information considering the PM10 and PM2.5 levels and help understand the drawbacks of burning.

The Faculty of Medicine, CMU in collaboration with Chiang Mai has reported the air quality through “Chiang Mai Air Quality Health Index.” Meanwhile, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office collaborated with the Faculty of Engineering, CMU and Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna Chiang Mai to install Dust measuring machines called in a project called “Dust Boy”, which now has LINE integration. (@Dustboy)

These air quality sensors measure both PM10 and PM2.5 levels. Eleven hospitals have installed the sensors so far, with another 25 planned.

The governor also reported that there are currently 40 cases open, prosecuting those who have been caught burning during the 51-day burning ban. Chiang Mai authorities are strictly aware of the risk areas, and the local authorities are doing more to raise awareness about the problems with burning. The governor said that this issue is very important, as the amount of smoke in the air is turning tourists away and affecting the economy.