Forest fires rage, PM2.5 levels high
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Forest fires rage, PM2.5 levels high

Fire-fighting resources are being mobilised in Chiang Mai to combat more than 15 forest fires, some of which have been raging for three days, local authorities say.

Out of 153 hotspots found in the northern region yesterday morning, 17 are located in Chiang Mai, with five of them in Chiang Dao district.

According to officials, two of the hotspots are located on Doi Nang in Baan Na Lao of tambon Chiang Dao, where forest fires have been raging for several days.

The Protected Areas Regional Office 16 has been working with local communities and state agencies to extinguish forest fires there, but steep mountain and rough geographic terrains hinder their efforts.

Six fire-fighting aircraft from the Royal Thai Army, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment are now deployed as part of the operations.

Meanwhile, the levels of harmful ultra-fine PM2.5 pollutants in all 25 districts of Chiang Mai were at unsafe levels yesterday morning. The PM2.5 concentrations hovered between 38.8-61.4 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³), higher than the safe threshold for exposure over a 24-hour period of 37.5µg/m³.

In Muang and Pai districts in Mae Hong Son, the PM2.5 pollutants were recorded at 82.7 and 92.2 37.5µg/m³, respectively.

On Saturday evening, freak storms hit vast areas in Fang district in Chiang Mai, uprooting trees and causing damage to almost 900 homes and 20 rai farmlands in eight districts.

Dusit Pongsapipat, chief of the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, said yesterday necessary assistance was being provided to affected households and that inspections were underway.

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