PEOPLE living in large parts of eastern Trat province are suffering from toxic smoke that drifted across the border from forest fires raging in Cambodia despite the Thai military having built an understanding with the neighbouring country that this should not occur, Naewna newspaper said today (Feb. 1).
Trat Governor Mr. Chamnanwit Teerat said he had received complaints from residents of Mueang, Klong Yai and Bo Rai districts that they were suffering from PM2.5 pollution as a result of forest fires raging in Cambodia’s Koh Kong and Pursat provinces.
“The forest fires along the border on Khao Banthat Mountain Range are getting worse and Trat, which usually has good air, is now greatly affected by these fires,
“Official letters have been sent to the governors of Cambodia’s Koh Kong and Pursat provinces asking for cooperation in ensuring these forest fires do not affect Trat people. Although they are breaking out in Cambodian territory, the smoke and soot drifts across the border,” he said.
Chamnanwit added that all units are on alert for these fires possibly spreading across the border. However it is difficult to put them out on the mountain range because there are still mines there.
Meanwhile the Trat Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office said at noon today the PM2.5 level was higher than the orange threshold, where it can begin to impact health, in four subdistricts with these being Hat Lek in Khlong Yai district, Thung Nonsi in Khao Saming district, Takang and Wang Krachae in Mueang district.
Smoke from forest fires in Cambodia floats to Trat province. Photos: Naewna