AFTER battling the huge bamboo forest blaze at Chiang Mai’s Doi Samoeng mountain from 8 p.m. Monday night till 4 a.m. this morning (March 31), and succeeding in extinguishing most of it, firefighters in this northern city had to dash to battle a new flare-up five kilometres away, TV Channel 7 said.
Mr Chakra Dityanan, head of Khun Khan-Samoeng Forest Fire Control Station, said by 4 a.m. most of the massive blaze raging on the mountain had been put out leaving only some spots in steep areas but there were unlikely to be a problem.
Vigilantes had moved in to control the area near villages to prevent another outbreak.
Despite this, another part of the same bamboo forest at Ban Kong Khok Noi, Samoeng Tai subdistrict, has caught fire and officials are making a big effort to prevent it from spreading. Helicopters too are spraying water to quickly extinguish it.
Samoeng Tai subdistrict was this morning shrouded with haze from the two-day wildfire and this has now started to affect the health of residents, especially communities and schools within a kilometre radius of the huge blaze.
The air quality in Chiang Mai too deteriorated this morning with all monitoring stations reporting that particulate matter of no more than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) reached 101 micrograms per cubic metre, much higher than the acceptable value of below 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air.
Top: Smoke billows from Doi Samoeng mountain. Thai headline says, “Samoeng bamboo forest fire erupts at another point.” Photo: TV Channel 7
Home Page: The huge forest fire at Doi Samoeng mountain is fully visible from Chiang Mai city. Photo: Sanook.com