CityNews – A meeting to reduce wildfire and smog problems in nine northern provinces took place yesterday morning, March 11, at Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The meeting was led by Lieutenant General Sathit Pitharat the commander of the 3rd Army Area, M.L. Panadda Diskul office minister for the Prime Minister, Major General Sarayut Rangsee of the 33rd military circle, and governors from nine upper northern provinces and Uttaradit.
The authorities have responded to the high level of smog with water trucks to spray water in downtown Chiang Mai, starting from Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The army is putting all tools at its disposal towards this crisis: fire trucks are sent out, border patrols will fight fire, airborne vehicles are to be utalised to spray water as well as trucks which will be mobilised and attempts made for artificial rain. The 5th Region police are going to be proactive in going out to try to catch fire starters and the cities will be spinkled with water. All tambon heads and village leaders are pressed to spread information to their constituents about the dangers of lighting fire.
The meeting discussed the wildfire and smog situation that began in late February and continues to have severe affects on residents’ health and the environment. The smog has been reported to have reached dangerous levels.
At the meeting, the dust level was reported to be over the safety criteria and that it has affected residents’ health in six provinces, including Chiang Mai, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, and Phayao. At the end of March the problem has spread to other nearby provinces.
The authorities also set guidelines and solutions following the integrated action plans in each area.