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Forest Fires close 8 National Parks

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency stated that 77% of hot spots in the North were in forest areas, 18% were in agricultural zones, and 5% were in urban areas, according to the ministry’s Pollution Control Department on Friday.

According to Pinsak Suraswadi, director-general of the agency, “These hot places are either caused by forest fires, the burning of waste, or farm brush.”

The ministry has advised local officials in 17 northern provinces to be vigilant for fires and forbid open burning, which is a significant contributor to PM2.5 pollution.

Forest fire in mountainous area at dusk

PM2.5 refers to airborne dust particles that have a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. Many chronic ailments, including acute lung and cardiac issues, have been related to long-term exposure to such tiny particles.

According to Pinsak, the Directorate of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has been directed by the ministry to consider temporarily closing national parks that are at risk of forest fires and to step up patrols to ensure public safety.

Lum Nam Pai in Mae Hong Son, Pha Daeng, Op Luang, and Omkoi in Chiang Mai, Tham Pha Thai in Lampang, Mae Ping in Lamphun, Si Nan in Nan, and Mae Tuen in Tak are the eight national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the North that have so far been ordered closed. Just the visitor centers are still open at these destinations, he noted.

Teams from the ministry’s emergency response to smog have been instructed to keep a careful eye on the situation and remain on standby. The Thai Meteorological Department, the Air4Thai website, and mobile application were instructed to be followed by officials, who were then instructed to assess the situation every three days.

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