Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment clarified that the government did not refrain from performing on the haze forest fire situation and asked all parties to join hands to fight the crisis adequately. The Government asked the people to “stay home, stop the infection, stop burn for the nation,” and follow the guidelines stickily to prevent the spread of the infection of the COVID-19.
Today (31 March 2020), Mr. Jatuporn Buruspat, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, reveals that from the severe haze crisis this year, the government by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, and General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister, have urged all related sectors to take urgently actions to solve the severe haze crisis. The Government supports the budget, equipment, and manpower as well as strictly enforces the law. On March 27, 2020, H.E. Mr. Warawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, went to Chiang Mai to investigate the haze forest fire situation and commanded the urgent action on forest fire and haze as well as to monitor the situation and report daily. The operation should focus on bringing staff into the area to watch and create awareness for people in risky areas, especially in 4 provinces, needed especially careful, including Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, and Phayao.
As for the forest fire and haze in 4 provinces, including Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, and Phayao, the whole picture of this day situation (31 March 2020) is much better. The hotspot has decreased by 50 %; however, the air quality is still in crisis because of the closed weather. It causes dust to accumulate as well as the south wind blows north, which is the factor that cannot be controlled. From the forecast of the Meteorological Department during 1 – 5 April 2020, the upper part of Thailand will have a summer storm, which is expected a better situation of PM 2.5 dust. Moreover, other provinces should monitor the status by following the Chiang Mai’s protocol.
Mr. Jatuporn Buruspat added that Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been integrated with all regions, provinces, military, police, and local government for solving smog forest fire problem with fully performing. There were setting up patrols to extinguish forest fires and arrest offenders for prosecution as well as specifying risk areas for special surveillance, together with staff who stationed in the area to create awareness and understanding for the citizen. Additionally, the situation and performance are summarized and reported on a daily basis by giving provinces to be the main publicizing the information to the public.
The Government would ask people to trust and confident in the performance to solve the problems of the government. For the situation of the spread with the COVID-19, the government would now ask people in 9 northern provinces to follow protocol in accordance with the COVID-19 epidemic control approach by requesting “stay home, stop infection, stop burn for the nation,” and people can follow the news of the operation to solve the smog forest fire problem from the province every day. Mr. Jatuporn also thanks to all the local operations for understanding and support of public utilities and medical supplies. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is really thankful.