As Thailand and the rest of the world continue to fight the COVID 19 pandemic, the North of Thailand is fighting a different battle. For over two months now provinces in the north have been blanketed by haze and smoke from ravaging forest fires.
Forest fires are a common occurrence in Northern Thailand, happening every dry season. And with climate change, the problem is exacerbated every year. This year was no different. Some locals in the area say this is the worst forest fire season they have witnessed in their lifetimes.
Impacts and Damages
As of the 12th of April, the 2020 fires have burned through 120,020.9 rais of land in the North of Thailand. This is an increase from 2019 where 102,363.39 rais were burned. With a total of 159,490 rais burned in all of Thailand totalling 14,312,230,685.20 baht worth of damages in 2020 so far, the fires in the North makes up more than 75% of all fires in the country. This clearly encapsulates the scale and magnitude of fires the north is facing.