By THE NATION
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa was in Chiang Mai on Friday (March 27) assessing the situation, just as the Pollution Control Department reported unsafe levels of PM2.5 pollution in 21 areas across the North.
The range in the past day has been 42-209 micrograms per cubic metre of air.
Ministry permanent secretary Chatuphon Burutphat held a video conference on Thursday with 17 officials in the region, noting fire hotspots in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao and Mae Hong Son.
He dispatched his deputy, Pongboon Pongtong, to Chiang Mai to seek out ways to curb the pollution and to warn citizens that setting forest fires to clear brush was having a drastic impact.
Chiang Mai University’s Smoke Haze Integrated Research Unit measured the PM2.5 level on Doi Suthep, the mountain overlooking the city, at 700mcg on Tuesday.
The safe level recognised in Thailand is 50mcg. The World Health Organisation recommends 25mcg.