Following weeks of forest fires and burning of farms, the authorities reported that the tourist town of Pai in Mae Hong Son province is choked with PM2.5 ultra-fine dust at a dangerous 398 micrograms per cubic metre (g/m3) of air on Thursday morning.
According to the Mae Hong Son operation center for fighting forest fires and smog, the PM2.5 level in Muang district was recorded at 196 g/m3, and in Mae Saring district, it was reported at 132 g/m3.
PM2.5, or particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns, has a safe level of 50 g/m3.
The administrative center of Mae Hong Son’s Pai district, which borders the northeast, is Pai town.
The center reported on Thursday that as of the end of Wednesday, satellite images showed 313 forest fire locations in the northern province.
According to the report, 190 forest fires were discovered by satellite on Thursday morning, and more are anticipated to start during the day. Pai district had 75 forest fire sites, Muang had 50, Khun Yuam had 24, Pang Ma Pha had 13, Mae Sarian had 13, Sob Moei had 8, and Mae La Noi had 7.
Chief of the Salawin wildlife sanctuary in Mae Hong Son, Arkhom Boonnonetae, announced on Thursday that he had sent representatives to speak with residents in Tambon Sao Hin in the Mae Sariang district and ask them not to burn weeds and harvest leftovers.
Sangkhom Kudchiangsaen, the chief of Muang district, said on Thursday that he had sent personnel to put out forest fires that had started behind a gas station and the Thanyarak Hospital.
Anek Panthayom, the director of the Pai operation center to combat forest fires, also stated on Thursday that his organization had worked with the local government to arrange water spraying in Pai town in an effort to reduce PM2.5 levels in the air.
Anek added that the center also sent representatives to Ban Sobsa village in Tambon Muang Paeng, which is close to Kalayaniwattana district, to attempt and put out forest fires.