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Tywais

Smoke, Smog, Dust 2012 Chiang Mai

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Jeez this year seems really bad.. OMG... does anyone know what happened to the measuring stations in CM? Have they gotten clogged? Last week there were some strange spikes where pollution went to zero, now there's days and days missing...

post-20814-0-32737300-1330653537_thumb.p

According to the Pollution Control Department the 'Chiang Mai' measuring station suffered equipment failure from 25-29 February. I would recommend you to look at the 'Uparaj' station instead.

/ Priceless

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Slightly bored of dust levels , I pulled another high stat. off the chart

http://aqmthai.com/

Numbers for NO2 - these are x10-20 those of other areas being 42-70 ppb in Chiang Mai

However these are in ppb

Found a conversion rate of times 1.91 to put into micrograms per cubic metre which pollutant levels seem to normally be measured in. (there is a longer equation haven't tried that)

http://forum.onlinec...read.php?t=9436

According to this , this would put NO2 levels in Chiang Mai at around 80-130 µg/m3

"There is some evidence that long-term exposure to NO2 at concentrations above 40–100 µg/m3 may decrease lung function and increase the risk of respiratory symptoms.

Nitrogen dioxide is a large scale pollutant, with rural background ground level concentrations in some areas around 30 µg/m3, not far below unhealthy levels."

According to this an NO2 level of over 100 is off the stratosphere and pretty poisonous. Any thoughts on this.

It is worth noting the expression 'long-term exposure'. The World Health Organization has the following to say about short-term exposure:

'The current scientific literature has not accumulated evidence to change from the WHO guideline value of 200 μg/m3 for

1-hour nitrogen dioxide concentration'. (Air Quality Guidelines, Global Update 2005, p376)

/ Priceless

Those are the 1 hour average figures and if you look at those statistics on for example the Australian permitted levels. It says the 1 hour average should be only permittable for 1 day per year.

We are clearly exceeding that at present

Averaging time Maximum concentration (µg/m3) Goals within 10 years Maximum allowable exceedences 1 hour 246 (0.12 ppm) 1 day a year 1 year (State of Victoria)

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ตารางที่ ๑ แสดงค่าเฉลี่ย ๒๔ ชั่วโมงของ PM10และ AQI ในภาคเหนือ ณ เวลา ๐๙.๐๐ น. วันที่ ๒ มีนาคม ๒๕๕๕

สถานี PM10* AQI** คุณภาพอากาศ

เชียงราย

สนง.ทรัพยากรธรรมชาติและสิ่งแวดล้อม.เมือง๒๕๐.๖ ๑๕๗ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

สาธารณสุขแม่สาย.แม่สาย.เชียงราย๓๒๓.๔ ๑๘๘ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

เชียงใหม่

ศาลากลาง.เมือง.เชียงใหม่๑๗๑.๖ ๑๒๒ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

โรงเรียนยุพราชวิทยาลัย.เมือง.เชียงใหม่๑๔๙.๐ ๑๑๓ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

พระตำหนักภูพิงคราชนิเวศน์.เชียงใหม่ (Mobile)*** ๓๒. ๔๑ดี

ลำพูนสนามกีฬาอบจ. .เมือง.ลำพูน๑๕๐.๒ ๑๑๓ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

Trying to copy this off aqmthai website, doesn't really copy the table but you can get the gist .

Basically all bad but huge difference and improvement up at Phuping if these are correct.

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According to this an NO2 level of over 100 is off the stratosphere and pretty poisonous. Any thoughts on this.

Too bad it's NO2 and not N2O.

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Slightly bored of dust levels , I pulled another high stat. off the chart

http://aqmthai.com/

Numbers for NO2 - these are x10-20 those of other areas being 42-70 ppb in Chiang Mai

However these are in ppb

Found a conversion rate of times 1.91 to put into micrograms per cubic metre which pollutant levels seem to normally be measured in. (there is a longer equation haven't tried that)

http://forum.onlinec...read.php?t=9436

According to this , this would put NO2 levels in Chiang Mai at around 80-130 µg/m3

"There is some evidence that long-term exposure to NO2 at concentrations above 40–100 µg/m3 may decrease lung function and increase the risk of respiratory symptoms.

Nitrogen dioxide is a large scale pollutant, with rural background ground level concentrations in some areas around 30 µg/m3, not far below unhealthy levels."

According to this an NO2 level of over 100 is off the stratosphere and pretty poisonous. Any thoughts on this.

It is worth noting the expression 'long-term exposure'. The World Health Organization has the following to say about short-term exposure:

'The current scientific literature has not accumulated evidence to change from the WHO guideline value of 200 μg/m3 for

1-hour nitrogen dioxide concentration'. (Air Quality Guidelines, Global Update 2005, p376)

/ Priceless

Those are the 1 hour average figures and if you look at those statistics on for example the Australian permitted levels. It says the 1 hour average should be only permittable for 1 day per year.

We are clearly exceeding that at present

Averaging time Maximum concentration (µg/m3) Goals within 10 years Maximum allowable exceedences 1 hour 246 (0.12 ppm) 1 day a year 1 year (State of Victoria)

Yes, I don't intend to argue with you. I have concentrated my interest on PM10 and know very little about other pollutants. Just thought I'd add something that I'd come across 'by accident'.

/ Priceless

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This year is extraordinary!

[...]

Well not really, I'm afraid. Since the 'Chiang Mai' measuring station suffered a breakdown for four days (25-28 February) I looked at the Uparaj station numbers instead. Of the previous eight years (2004-2011) four had significantly higher February pollution levels than this year (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009). Two had levels pretty much equal to this year (2006 and 2010). Only 2008 and 2011 were significantly better.

I think what we are facing is the human tendency to remember more recent events (in this case 2011) a lot more strongly and think that these events are the norm. The latter half of February and most of March are usually bad and (so far) this year has followed that pattern.

I'm crossing my fingers that the pattern will be broken this March rolleyes.gif

/ Priceless

Hi Priceless

As a student of the mind I'm with you on the human tendencies to forget the past and emphasise the present....however in this year's case it's the number of affected people I personally meet regularly which to me is extraordinary.

I know anecdote is not the gold standard, but two more people are now added to the 5 on my sick list.

My 30yo girlfriend has a bad allergic reaction, and Howard Graves is off colour and has just called off all operas for the month.

As for CM residents actually doing something instead of navel gazing....what do you think of a MARCH?

I remember there's a highly respected older Thai activist who has a big network of schoolkids who could perhaps do something.

I know there used to be an activist group about this.....know anything about it?

Cheeryble

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ตารางที่ ๑ แสดงค่าเฉลี่ย ๒๔ ชั่วโมงของ PM10และ AQI ในภาคเหนือ ณ เวลา ๐๙.๐๐ น. วันที่ ๒ มีนาคม ๒๕๕๕

สถานี PM10* AQI** คุณภาพอากาศ

เชียงราย

สนง.ทรัพยากรธรรมชาติและสิ่งแวดล้อม.เมือง๒๕๐.๖ ๑๕๗ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

สาธารณสุขแม่สาย.แม่สาย.เชียงราย๓๒๓.๔ ๑๘๘ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

เชียงใหม่

ศาลากลาง.เมือง.เชียงใหม่๑๗๑.๖ ๑๒๒ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

โรงเรียนยุพราชวิทยาลัย.เมือง.เชียงใหม่๑๔๙.๐ ๑๑๓ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

พระตำหนักภูพิงคราชนิเวศน์.เชียงใหม่ (Mobile)*** ๓๒. ๔๑ดี

ลำพูนสนามกีฬาอบจ. .เมือง.ลำพูน๑๕๐.๒ ๑๑๓ มีผลกระทบต่อสุขภาพ

Trying to copy this off aqmthai website, doesn't really copy the table but you can get the gist .

Basically all bad but huge difference and improvement up at Phuping if these are correct.

I think that you rather safely assume that the Phuping figures are correct. Doi Pui is at an altitude more than 5,000 feet above mean sea level, and particulate matter pollution rarely reaches that high in any significant concentrations.

/ Priceless

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This year is extraordinary!

[...]

Well not really, I'm afraid. Since the 'Chiang Mai' measuring station suffered a breakdown for four days (25-28 February) I looked at the Uparaj station numbers instead. Of the previous eight years (2004-2011) four had significantly higher February pollution levels than this year (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009). Two had levels pretty much equal to this year (2006 and 2010). Only 2008 and 2011 were significantly better.

I think what we are facing is the human tendency to remember more recent events (in this case 2011) a lot more strongly and think that these events are the norm. The latter half of February and most of March are usually bad and (so far) this year has followed that pattern.

I'm crossing my fingers that the pattern will be broken this March rolleyes.gif

/ Priceless

Hi Priceless

As a student of the mind I'm with you on the human tendencies to forget the past and emphasise the present....however in this year's case it's the number of affected people I personally meet regularly which to me is extraordinary.

I know anecdote is not the gold standard, but two more people are now added to the 5 on my sick list.

My 30yo girlfriend has a bad allergic reaction, and Howard Graves is off colour and has just called off all operas for the month.

As for CM residents actually doing something instead of navel gazing....what do you think of a MARCH?

I remember there's a highly respected older Thai activist who has a big network of schoolkids who could perhaps do something.

I know there used to be an activist group about this.....know anything about it?

Cheeryble

I must admit that I somewhat fear the coming March. Luckily, there's not a very strong correlation between the PM10 values for February and for March (0..63 for the 'Chiang Mai measuring station) so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed rolleyes.gif

/ Priceless

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ME and Mrs Smith did a circular hike from Ban Doi Pui up to the peak of Doi Pui at 1685m. Air very clean up at the top. From the view point above Ban Doi Pui, however, I could see that we were still in the smog, as we gazed at light brown haze hiding the view of anything but the nearest ridges, though much better than down at the valley floor. No coughing up there, & no sore eyes. Those returned back on the valley floor. The forest is very green up there. Worth the trip, & will go again soon :)

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This year is extraordinary!

[...]

Well not really, I'm afraid. Since the 'Chiang Mai' measuring station suffered a breakdown for four days (25-28 February) I looked at the Uparaj station numbers instead. Of the previous eight years (2004-2011) four had significantly higher February pollution levels than this year (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009). Two had levels pretty much equal to this year (2006 and 2010). Only 2008 and 2011 were significantly better.

I think what we are facing is the human tendency to remember more recent events (in this case 2011) a lot more strongly and think that these events are the norm. The latter half of February and most of March are usually bad and (so far) this year has followed that pattern.

I'm crossing my fingers that the pattern will be broken this March rolleyes.gif

/ Priceless

Hi Priceless

As a student of the mind I'm with you on the human tendencies to forget the past and emphasise the present....however in this year's case it's the number of affected people I personally meet regularly which to me is extraordinary.

I know anecdote is not the gold standard, but two more people are now added to the 5 on my sick list.

My 30yo girlfriend has a bad allergic reaction, and Howard Graves is off colour and has just called off all operas for the month.

As for CM residents actually doing something instead of navel gazing....what do you think of a MARCH?

I remember there's a highly respected older Thai activist who has a big network of schoolkids who could perhaps do something.

I know there used to be an activist group about this.....know anything about it?

Cheeryble

I must admit that I somewhat fear the coming March. Luckily, there's not a very strong correlation between the PM10 values for February and for March (0..63 for the 'Chiang Mai measuring station) so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed

/ Priceless

No No

I mean what do you think of a march.....a demo....a protesting mob?

rolleyes.gif

Cheeryble

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I must admit that I somewhat fear the coming March. Luckily, there's not a very strong correlation between the PM10 values for February and for March (0..63 for the 'Chiang Mai measuring station) so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed

/ Priceless

No No

I mean what do you think of a march.....a demo....a protesting mob?

rolleyes.gif

Cheeryble

I understood that perfectly well. However, since people are complaining so much about this past February i thought it relevant to say something about the coming March (i.e. the month).

As for your march, I think that you might irritate a few people. Apart from that, I don't think you will achieve anything. Political demonstrations by foreigners are not that appreciated here, in my experience (though other posters might not agree).

/ Priceless

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I can just imagine a group of farangs stumbling along LoyKrau Rd coughing and spluttering.......

On second thoughts that is normal here anyway.

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What were the PM10 levels in CM today? Visibility in Mae Taeng continues to be less than 2 km in the morning, but the winds cleared things up in the afternoon. Had quite a bit of black soot fall today so the burning is still active. In 2007 there was quite a push by the Public Health department for folks to stop burning and village announcements and forest officials back then spread that word as well. This year there seems to be nothing of the sort even though it is considerably worse.

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What were the PM10 levels in CM today? Visibility in Mae Taeng continues to be less than 2 km in the morning, but the winds cleared things up in the afternoon. Had quite a bit of black soot fall today so the burning is still active. In 2007 there was quite a push by the Public Health department for folks to stop burning and village announcements and forest officials back then spread that word as well. This year there seems to be nothing of the sort even though it is considerably worse.

At the 'Chiang Mai' measuring station (near the Provincial Hall) it measured 171.6 µg/m3. Since you are a ways north of town, it might be more relevant to look at Chiang Rai at 250.6 (or even Mae Sai at 323.4!!!!!).

Please accept my deepest sympathywai.gif

/ Priceless

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If you think about how long it's taken to get the current low percentage of motorcycle riders to wear crash helmets, that action invloved passing legislation plus active involvement from the police across the country, all fining helmetless riders on a regular basis - that started some seven years ago and look how far it's got today, does anyone really think that an effective programme aimed at reducing pollution can be enacted in shorter timescales, I seriously doubt it!

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What were the PM10 levels in CM today? Visibility in Mae Taeng continues to be less than 2 km in the morning, but the winds cleared things up in the afternoon. Had quite a bit of black soot fall today so the burning is still active. In 2007 there was quite a push by the Public Health department for folks to stop burning and village announcements and forest officials back then spread that word as well. This year there seems to be nothing of the sort even though it is considerably worse.

At the 'Chiang Mai' measuring station (near the Provincial Hall) it measured 171.6 µg/m3. Since you are a ways north of town, it might be more relevant to look at Chiang Rai at 250.6 (or even Mae Sai at 323.4!!!!!).

Please accept my deepest sympathywai.gif

/ Priceless

Thanks Priceless for those rather scary numbers. And regarding sympathy, I didn't even tell you we are camped out in it...... The scourge of the air coming down the mountain at 3 AM is horrible.

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If you think about how long it's taken to get the current low percentage of motorcycle riders to wear crash helmets, that action invloved passing legislation plus active involvement from the police across the country, all fining helmetless riders on a regular basis - that started some seven years ago and look how far it's got today, does anyone really think that an effective programme aimed at reducing pollution can be enacted in shorter timescales, I seriously doubt it!

I really do hate repeating myself, but the average pollution level in Chiang Mai has been, trend-wise, decreasing by more than a third over the last 7½ years:

post-20094-0-44651700-1330693023_thumb.j

/ Priceless

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What were the PM10 levels in CM today? Visibility in Mae Taeng continues to be less than 2 km in the morning, but the winds cleared things up in the afternoon. Had quite a bit of black soot fall today so the burning is still active. In 2007 there was quite a push by the Public Health department for folks to stop burning and village announcements and forest officials back then spread that word as well. This year there seems to be nothing of the sort even though it is considerably worse.

At the 'Chiang Mai' measuring station (near the Provincial Hall) it measured 171.6 µg/m3. Since you are a ways north of town, it might be more relevant to look at Chiang Rai at 250.6 (or even Mae Sai at 323.4!!!!!).

Please accept my deepest sympathywai.gif

/ Priceless

Thanks Priceless for those rather scary numbers. And regarding sympathy, I didn't even tell you we are camped out in it...... The scourge of the air coming down the mountain at 3 AM is horrible.

Head for higher ground T-Dog, especially if you're camping :(

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So four years for every 10 micrigrams reduction, at that rate we'll be down to zero in fourteen years, phew, thanks for that, I feel much better and now wont worry nearly so much.

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So four years for every 10 micrigrams reduction, at that rate we'll be down to zero in fourteen years, phew, thanks for that, I feel much better and now wont worry nearly so much.

Thank you for clearly demonstrating why one should not confuse a trend with a forecast smile.png For a number of reasons I doubt that we will ever see the average go below ~20 µg/m3, at least in my lifetime (and in my family we tend to become very old).

/ Priceless

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As for your march, I think that you might irritate a few people. Apart from that, I don't think you will achieve anything. Political demonstrations by foreigners are not that appreciated here, in my experience (though other posters might not agree).

/ Priceless

I agree. There were about 25 Burmese demonstrating in front of the Chinese Consulate Thursday morning and about 30 very angry and unfriendly looking police keeping them "under control".

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So four years for every 10 micrigrams reduction, at that rate we'll be down to zero in fourteen years, phew, thanks for that, I feel much better and now wont worry nearly so much.

Thank you for clearly demonstrating why one should not confuse a trend with a forecast smile.png For a number of reasons I doubt that we will ever see the average go below ~20 µg/m3, at least in my lifetime (and in my family we tend to become very old).

/ Priceless

Said tongue in cheek of course! But more importantly: do we really understand what the factors are that have allowed the current trend to develop, why exactly has the level of pollution fallen so much for so long, if indeed it has!!

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/01/china-air-pollution-tough-rules

Chinese authorities have set tougher rules to combat air pollution by ordering all major cities to monitor tiny particles that do serious damage to health. One of China's leading environmental activists, Ma Jun, greeted the change as a major step forward.

Surprisingly, given China's strict control of the internet, state media have acknowledged the change is partly in response to online environmental campaigners.

The national air quality rules were agreed at an executive meeting of the state council presided over by the premier, Wen Jiabao, on 1 March, a statement on its website said.

They order stricter air pollution monitoring standards this year in the mega-cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Tianjin, 27 provincial capitals, and three key industrial belts: the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas, and Beijing's hinterland. Another 113 cities must adopt new standards next year, and all but the smallest cities by 2015.

To "help allay public concern over official air quality readings", levels of ozone and PM2.5 particles must be included. PM2.5 particulate matter is below 2.5 micrometres in diameter, or 1/30th the width of an average human hair, and easily penetrates lung tissue.

"This is a major step forward in terms of China's process to combat urban air pollution," said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. "The prerequisite for mobilising our people is to let them know what is going on.

"It doesn't mean that the sky will turn blue automatically because at the end of the day we still need to cut off these emissions."

Following the announcement, more than a million – mostly positive – comments were posted on the Weibo micro-blogging service in under 24 hours. "Good news, applause," wrote Xu Xiaonian, a prominent economist. Others questioned whether the rules would be enforced.

In January, Beijing's environmental agency included PM2.5 particles in its calculations after months of postings from netizens mocking the discrepancy between officially clear days and the dense smog at their windows. Ma said social media had played an essential role in changing government policy last year.

State media also acknowledged the role of bloggers: "A stirring campaign on the country's social network websites since last autumn seemed to have gained a satisfying response from the country's policymakers," Xinhua news agency said.

The question is, when will Thai authorities adopt this monitoring. We have exactly the same problem here, very high PM2.5 levels, and it is not even monitored.

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ID: 399   Posted · Hidden by onthedarkside, March 3, 2012 - Bangkok post quote

Bangkok Post editorial "Confront This Burning Issue"

http://www.bangkokpo...s-burning-issue

Tourists aboard a flight to Lampang last weekend were surprised when the control tower ordered their plane to circle the airport for an hour because visibility was below the safe 1,000-metre minimum required for landing. They had not realised the air quality was so bad. But the delay merely drew sighs from other passengers living in the northern city. They knew exactly what the trouble was. The choking haze caused each year by the burn-off of crop residue was back, blanketing the North and defying attempts by the authorities to prevent it.

Perhaps residents might find the situation more tolerable if the haze were a rare freak of nature but it is not. It is a man-made phenomenon caused by the same kind of thoughtlessness and disregard for the environment that led to last year's floods. These were largely brought about by the selfish destruction of natural watercourses. This year we have chosen to burn down our home instead of flooding it, creating massive air pollution. The haze is caused by people who break the law and get away with it because authorities appear incapable of acting against them.

The question being asked is why it is so difficult to educate people into accepting that devastating slash and burn agriculture has no place in the 21st century. It scorches the land creating a massive eyesore, the fires get out of control as has happened in the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, it kills off wildlife and people fall ill and some suffer an early death.

The situation is particularly bad in Phayao, Lamphun and Chiang Rai where hospitals have been treating 2,500-3,000 respiratory and eye inflammation cases a day, all victims of the acrid smoke generated by this annual practice of burning off fields, leaves, rice straw, garbage and grasses ahead of the next planting season. Those flying over the region or driving regularly through it say that small-scale fires are erupting almost everywhere, polluting the air with particulate matter and making facemasks essential.

Authorities pinpoint the worst trouble spots as being Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai where tiny dust particles in the air reached a dangerous 305.6 microgrammes per cubic metre of air on Thursday and Pai district of Mae Hong Son. The haze is exacerbated by bushfires and smoke wafting across the border from Myanmar.

This year the Northeast is also afflicted by heavy burn-offs taking place in Chaiyaphum while other provinces east of Bangkok have not escaped unscathed. Minor respite has come in the form of cloud seeding operations, use of fire engines to spray residential neighbourhoods and a high-pressure area from China.

But lasting relief will only come with the rain season.

Every year history repeats itself and creates an intolerable situation for those living in or just visiting the North. In particular, tourism suffers greatly. It is unfair to simply expect people to continue to put up with a clearly avoidable situation. Health and forestry officials do launch campaigns to persuade landowners not to burn forests, rubbish or grass but these tend to lapse as soon as the haze dissipates. It is time to get tough and slap heavy fines and jail sentences on the actual owners of the land on which the fires are started, not just the farmers who plant their crops on it.

These same landowners ignored the Chiang Rai governor's invocation of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act this week and a plea from health and tourism authorities to stop burning in the province and harming its people. They are not above the law. Let us see them face the legal consequences, which will also measure how seriously those in power take this problem.

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