Thailand– Haze problem has returned to several northern provinces after the end of a 60-day campaign to encourage farmers to stop burning their harvested crops.
A new round of haze was caused by farmers burning weeds to prepare their farmland for cultivation in the forthcoming rainy season prompting officials to scramble to seek cooperation from the farmers to hold off their land clearing efforts.
Officials of the Pollution Control Department have reported poor air quality in six northern provinces with the amount particles in the air exceeding standard level. The six northern provinces are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Nan and Phayao. The highest amount of particles in the air was reported in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai at 316 microgramme/cbm.
Mr Pornchai Chitnavasathien, president of Tourism Business Association of Chiang Mai, pointed out that the new round of haze problem has badly affected tourism business in the province with tourists cancelling flights and hotel bookings.
He estimated that as many as 10 percent of tourists would skip Chiang Mai because of the haze problem.
In Phayao province, residents have been advised to wear face masks when venturing outdoor and to close their windows.