Forest fires rage in northern Thailand

While the world’s attention has been focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, northern Thailand has been experiencing the worst forest fires in decades. Already raging since mid-March, the fires are projected to continue well into May.

With the news of the pandemic dominating international media, the choking fires have gone under the radar even despite the “critical levels” of air pollution in Chiang Mai.

Some areas of Chiang Mai province have hit levels of PM2.5, particulate matter that penetrates deep into the lungs, of up to 592 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/m3) of air, almost 12 times above levels considered safe to breathe by the World Health Organisation.

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Sonia Sambhi