PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere in 16 northern and 13 north-eastern provinces has reached a health-threatening level today (Saturday), according to the Air4Thai website report on air quality.
In Bangkok today, the Air Quality Information Centre reported excessive PM2.5 dust in 43 areas, measured between 5am and 7am this morning.
Country-wide, the worst air quality, measured at 8am today, was in Mae Hong Son province where the PM2.5 was measured at 142 microns, against Thailand’s 50-micron safety level.
Other provinces with high PM2.5 levels include Thani sub-district of Mueang district in Sukhothai Province, 132 microns; Hang Dong sub-district of Hot district in Chiang Mai, 129 microns; Wiang Pa Kham sub-district in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district and Chong Kham district in Mae Hong Son’s Mueang district, 115 microns; Wiang sub-district in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district and Mae Pa sub-district in Tak’s Mae Sot district, 110 microns.
In the north-east, PM2.5 ranging from 52 to 126 microns was reported in 13 provinces. For instance, 126 microns in Kut Pong sub-district in Loei’s Mueang district and in Nai Mueang sub-district in Nakhon Phanom’s Mueang district.
In Bangkok, of the 43 areas found to have excessive PM2.5 levels, the worst hit area is in Bueng Kum district, where PM2.5 was measured at 66 microns, followed by 65 microns in Sathorn district, at the road intersection in front of the district office, and Soi St. Louis.
In Pong district of Phayao Province, forest rangers arrested a 63-year-old man for allegedly lighting fires in the Doi Pha Chang wildlife sanctuary. The suspect faces charges of setting fires in protected forests, including national parks, forest parks and wildlife sanctuaries, which carries a prison sentence of 4-20 years and/or a fine from of up to two million baht on conviction.
The public are asked to alert officials via the 24-hour hotline number 1362 if they come across forest fires.