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Thailand: Firefighters battle massive forest fire


In Thailand, hundreds of firefighters and soldiers were fighting a forest fire on Friday less than 100 kilometers from Bangkok, in the midst of...

In Thailand, hundreds of firefighters and soldiers were fighting a forest fire less than 100 kilometers from Bangkok on Friday, in the midst of a wave of air pollution that has already affected 1.7 million people since the start of the year in the kingdom.

The fire has already ravaged at least 800,000 square meters of forest, the size of 100 football fields, on three hills in Nakhon Nayok province (northeast), and two districts have been declared emergency zones.

The blaze comes as Thailand faces a spike in pollution caused in part by the burning of farmers.

Close to a national park

Since the beginning of the year, 1,730,000 people have had to be treated in hospital for respiratory problems due to air pollution, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health.

The fire does not threaten any urban center, but it is close to the boundary of Khao Yai National Park, the oldest national park in the kingdom, which is part of a UNESCO-listed forest complex extending to at the Cambodian border.

Read alsoAir pollution kills 67,000 people a year

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has dispatched his interior minister to coordinate operations on the ground, his office said in a statement.


Prime Minister Prayut and the Minister of Defense are closely monitoring the wildfire situation in Nakon Nayok and have ordered relevant organizations to help put out the fire as a matter of urgency," the government spokesperson said

. , Anucha Burapachaisri.

On Thursday, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, candidate for a new term in the elections of May 14, asked the secretary general of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to help him coordinate efforts to reduce cross-border pollution caused by agricultural burning.

Farmers across Southeast Asia burn stubble in fields every year after harvest, leading to widespread air pollution.

Read alsoThailand to ban the import of certain plastic waste in 2025

Northern Thailand is particularly affected and this week the cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai topped the list of the most polluted cities in the world compiled by the monitoring company IQAir, ahead of capitals like New Delhi and Beijing.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-31

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