Forest fires rage in Mae Hong Son

Forest fires rage in Mae Hong Son

22 March 2007

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Thailand — Forest fires continued to rage through five districts in Mae HongSon province yesterday, while the haze situation in Chiang Mai and Lampangprovinces has improved significantly. Mae Hong Son governor Direk Konkleep saidforest fires are still burning in vast areas of Muang, Khun Yuam, Mae La Noi,Mae Sariang and Sop Moei districts, while blazes in Pang Ma Pha and Paidistricts have been contained and have gradually subsided.

Thick haze still covers a large area of the province. From March 1 to 19, thenumber of people who developed health problems as a result of the haze reached4,205, he said.

Yesterday, the level of dust particles in the air in the province, or thedust index, was measured at 284 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/cu m), said MrDirek.

In Chiang Mai, rain has helped clear the skies. After three weeks of thickhaze, visibility in Chiang Mai yesterday was good enough for residents in ChiangMai city to see pagodas on Doi Suthep.

The dust index has dropped to 91 ug/cu m but the province has decided not tocancel the disaster area announcement yet, officials said.

Lampang governor Amornthat Niratthisayakul said haze has disappeared from hisprovince and the dust index has dropped to 61 ug/cu m.

Apichai Chingprapa, director of the Bureau of Royal Rainmaking andAgricultural Aviation, said his bureau will continue making rain to help clearthe haze in the North

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