In response to the increasing air pollution in the northern and northeastern provinces, the government has declared that stricter measures may be necessary to address the lighting of forest fires and the burning of farm waste. These measures could potentially include imposing curfews.
According to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, strict measures could soon be imposed if the overall air quality in the region does not improve. He added that the problem persists despite seeking help from the secretary-general of ASEAN, reminding member countries about cross-border haze problems and urging citizens not to burn farm waste or light forest fires.
The government has enlisted over 1,000 personnel to aid in managing forest fires in national parks, accompanied by around 100 daily firefighting flights. Additionally, local administrative organizations have been urged to support the control of forest fires in approximately 40% of national forest reserves, which were transferred to their supervision and management a decade ago by the Royal Forest Department.
Varawut said this year’s PM2.5 problem is much more severe than last year, and that measures implemented since then have not been adequate to handle the current situation. (NNT)