The 6th region’s office of agricultural promotion and development based in Chiang Mai and the Phitsanuloke-based 9th region’s office of agricultural promotion and development were tasked with monitoring and dealing with forest fires and smog problem in cooperation with relevant agencies.
Meanwhile, the Rain-making and Agricultural Aviation Department has added three more rain-making operation centres in addition to the two existing ones to expand rain-making operations to cover the whole country.
Spokesman of the ministry Mr Surapol Charupong said that forest fires last year covered over 1.83 million rai of farmland in 10 provinces of Nan, Chiang Rai, Tak, Lampang, Phayao, Phrae, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son and Uttradit.
High incidence of forest fires were reported in 200 tambons and the amounts of dust particles in the air were measured from 68 to 101 MCG/cubic metre.
All agencies concerned with prevention and monitoring of forest fires and smog problem have been placed on the alert from January until April. A publicity campaign has already been launched to discourage farmers from setting fire to the leftovers of their farmland or rice fields which are already harvested.