Authorities to Control Sale of Fireworks and Sky Lanterns During Yi Peng

 | Fri 31 Oct 2014 18:29 ICT

CityNews – Chiang Mai municipality says it will control the sale and distribution of fireworks and sky lanterns during next week’s Yi Peng festival, in a bid to reduce the risk of fires.
Rescue workers practice putting out a car fire at Wednesday’s training session. Photo: Weerasak Panyachod.

Officials will seize any traditional sky lanterns on sale, and put up signs in Thai, English and Chinese asking for cooperation. Sky lanterns often fall on roofs and power cables, causing fires and outages.

Chiang Mai’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation unit on Wednesday held a training session aimed at equipping staff with the knowledge and skills to prevent fires.

The municipality will cooperate with other agencies to set up service centrrs for residents and arrange security patrols. Working teams will be set up at eight at-risk areas – Chiang Mai Municipal Hospital, Sriphum corner, Lao Jo lane, Saengtawan intersection, Nimmanhaemin road, Changklan road, San Ku Lek T-intersection, and Srikhong waterside.

Fire engines will also be based around downtown Chiang Mai, nine security patrols will drive around town, and traffic police will set up checkpoints for alcohol tests.

Due to the Yi Peng lantern processions on November 5, some roads will be closed from 6pm onwards. The procession starts at Thapae gate and ends outside Pantip Plaza.

On November 6-7, there will be krathong processions from Thapae Gate to Chiang Mai Municipality Office, with roads closing from 7pm onwards.

The northern Thai festival of Yi Peng, in which traditional sky lanterns are released into the air, takes place at the same time as Loy Krathong, which is celebrated across the country by people releasing krathong, or floating baskets, into waterways.