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Forest fires spread in northern Thailand

Xinhua, April 7, 2016 Adjust font size:

Forest fires are currently engulfing large forest areas in northern Thailand since the wind-blown blazes have spread across the border from neighboring states.

Thailand's Pollution Control Department director general Wicharn Simachaya said on Thursday the forest fires are reportedly spreading in forest areas of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Tak and Nan provinces in the northern region which share borders with Myanmar and Laos.

The blazes, apparently caused by the torching of forest land by hilltribesmen in those neighboring countries, have been blown across the border by strong winds in the dry-season, he said.

Those hilltribesmen apparently intended to clear up forest land to cultivate plants or uproot weeds and whatever has been left of post-harvest crops.

The authorities have taken steps to gradually put out the widespreading forest fires while artificial rain cannot be made for the time being due to lack of humidity in very dry condition, he said.

Meanwhile, 415 "hot spots" have been reported in those northern provinces whereas dust particles in the air have been measured at 167 micrograms per cubic meter, compared to a maximum of 120 micrograms per cubic meter, which is viewed barely tolerable for human health, according to the department head.

That compared to 380 "hot spots" which reportedly occurred in the northern region throughout last year. Enditem