Thai farmers continue burning waste crops ignoring ban over toxic smog
Farmers continue to flout laws banning the burning of waste crops which is adding to toxic air pollution in Thailand.
Authorities issued an order this month not to set alight fields in a desperate attempt to prevent the country's rising air pollution.
But footage from yesterday (Jan 19) in Nakhon Sawan, north-central Thailand, shows fire raging in a field of sugar cane husks, a practice known as 'slash-and-burn' or 'fire-fallow cultivation', which is cheaper for farmers than collecting the shells of harvested crops.
Clouds of smoke from rural areas hang in the low-pressure, still and dry atmosphere before blanketing large cities such as Bangkok, where levels of dangerous PM 2.5 articles have soared.
One farmer from the Nakhon Sawang region has been arrested but authorities are warning others to stop burning fields.
Provincial governor Attaporn Singhawichai said that low pressure combined with a lack of wind and rain keeps the pollution trapped in the air.
He said: "There is a low-pressure system in the area so the air is not freely flowing.
Burning crops adds smoke and dust in the air, which takes a long time to dissipate.
"We arrested the violating farmer to send a signal out to other farmers not to try to burn their crops again.
"I am worried about the health of the people in the province.
They have been suffering from severe air pollution for a number of weeks, so we need to be serious about enforcing the banning order."