Thousands of hotspots detected across Thailand

Thousands of hotspots detected across Thailand

A wildfire fighter uses a blower to clear the ground and create a buffer zone in a
A wildfire fighter uses a blower to clear the ground and create a buffer zone in a "hot" district of Chiang Mai, which had 249 deetected hotspots on Monday. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)

Satellite thermal imaging detected 2,656 fire-danger hotspots in Thailand on Monday, more than were found in neighbouring countries, Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) reported on Tuesday.

The data came from the Suomi NPP satellite's visible infrared imaging suite, the satellite operator said.

Trailing behind Thailand's 2,656 hotspots were Myanmar (2,321), Laos (1,422), Cambodia (664), Vietnam (542), and just one in Malaysia.

In Thailand, there were 1,196 hotspots detected in conservation forests, 1,071 in national forest reserves, 159 in agricultural areas, 127 in areas for agricultural land reform, 100 near communities and three by highways.

Most of the hotspots were in the North - 338 in Lampang, 321 in Tak, 318 in Nan and 249 in Chiang Mai provinces.

GISTDA said it was quite certain that wildfires and hotspots would be followed by unsafe levels of PM2.5 dust. Hotspots in neighbouring countries could also be blown over the border into Thailand, worsening the PM2.5 problem, which affected the country's economic and social systems.

In the near future, Thailand would be making the most use of Thailand Earth Observation System-2 (THEOS-2). Its main mission was to explore, analyse and make timely and precise forecasts of possible disasters so appropriate agencies could more effectively plan for prevention and mitigation.

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