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Wildfires and Laos burning-off behind bad Chiang Mai air

Air pollution in Chiang Mai
PHOTO: Air pollution in Chiang Mai

There’s no let-up in Chiang Mai’s air pollution, with wildfires continuing to exacerbate the problem in recent days.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the stricken province now has the most hotspots in the northern region and is routinely ranked as one of the worst cities in the world when it comes to air quality. Heavy smog has covered Chiang Mai’s downtown area every day for the last month.

Today’s iqair.com air pollution reporting shows that both Chiang Mai and Bangkok are listed as #3 and #4, respectively, for the worst air polluted cities in the world.

Despite Chiang Mai’s Wildfire and Pollution Control Command Centre reporting a decrease in burning activity in the province, another 52 hotspots were detected on Monday, April 29. This is in addition to the 166 hotspots confirmed by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Agency the day before.

All 6 of the province’s air quality monitoring stations have reported unhealthy levels of PM2.5, which have ranged from 53.3 microgrammes per cubic metre to 102.7 micrograms per cubic metre.

Just across the border, in Laos, there is also a lot of burning of plantation crop waste which is adding to northern Thailand’s air pollution problems.

For the whole of this month, Chiang Mai has regularly appeared on a list of the world’s most polluted cities, topping the list on many days.

Provincial governor Nirat Phongsitthithawon says the authorities are doing what they can to extinguish wildfires in the region as he urged relevant agencies to introduce more anti-pollution measures to prevent further damage to people’s health and Chiang Mai tourism.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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