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Wildfires devastate Chiang Mai forests

PHOTO: Chiang Mai Government PR Department

Wildfires have devasted around 30,000 rai of forest land across 3 Chiang Mai districts, according to the National News Bureau of Thailand.

The fires started around a week ago, spreading through the Ob Luang National Park. Local residents say the fires all broke out at around the same time, in the districts of Hot, Chomg Thong, and Mae Cham, where they continue to burn. According to reports, the fires are thought to have started due to villagers burning farm remnants.

The fires continue to light up the night sky, while white smoke blankets the area in the day time. Thossapol Puan-udom, deputy governor of Chiang Mai, says he’s actively involved in attempts to extinguish the fires. The wildfires are burning across difficult terrain, including high mountain areas, and this, coupled with the hot and dry weather has hampered efforts.

In the Hot district, the fire command centre has petitioned the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry for air support. The ministry in turn has asked the Third Army Area for aircraft to help extinguish the fires.

Pollution levels are bad, with the province’s PM2.5 monitoring centre naming 69 hotspots as of Sunday. Most of these are located in the Hot district, but other areas include the districts of Mae Cham, Doi Tao, Chomg Thong, Mae Taeng, San Sai, Prao, Mae Kwang, and Chiang Dao.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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