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webfact

Haze starts to cover Phayao despite 60-day burning ban

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What's going on with the air in CR? I just checked the AQI this morning and CR is at 174--unhealthy. Is it that bad up there?

It is pretty bad but nothing unusual for this time of year. I gauge how bad it is locally by watching the various mountains disappear from view. I have stopped riding my bike for the duration of this smoke season. I recommend the documentary as it explains the situation quite well.

Yeah, we've got some smokey air in CM as well. Looks pretty bad this morning, actually, but the AQI doesn't reflect. Just wondering what 174 looks like.

It hasn’t gotten there yet but in previous years it was very much like a heavy fog except for the color and smell, at its worst.

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It's sustained for over 8hrs....PM10 300+ ug/m3. I'd hazard a guess than PM2.5 is in the 200+ ug/m3 range.

That's a pretty high level.

uowDsfv.jpg

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What's going on with the air in CR? I just checked the AQI this morning and CR is at 174--unhealthy. Is it that bad up there?

It is pretty bad but nothing unusual for this time of year. I gauge how bad it is locally by watching the various mountains disappear from view. I have stopped riding my bike for the duration of this smoke season. I recommend the documentary as it explains the situation quite well.

Villagefarang,

I watched the documentary video. That's certainly a step in the right direction. I signed the petition. The video was interesting with regard to the 'bio-char' process described, which essentially re-burns the smoke from the initial burn-off in order to reduce the emission of particulate carbon.

However, there is still an amount of CO2 emitted, which 'climate-change alarmists' might be worried about. But, I'm not a climate-change alarmist, so that doesn't worry me.

I think for very small-scale farmers, and even the not-so-small scale, who have to grow food on their entire property (apart from the house) in order to earn a basic living, a good-quality bio-char kiln might be the best solution. My reservations lie in the quality of the kilns that might be used. Will they always be effective in 'essentially' burning the smoke. Probably not, but any progress is better than none.

For those farmers who have a bit of spare land which is not being used to grow rice or corn etc, I think in the long term it would be a better solution to create a Hugelkultur patch. The process of dumping all the waste organic matter in a specially created hollow would be less labour-intensive, less costly, and easier than collecting the waste organic matter to burn in a kiln.

Over a number of years, that unused patch of land, which was perhaps less fertile than the adjoining areas, or less suitable for rice paddies, would become a rich bed, allowing the farmers to expand their activities and grow avocadoes, or some other type of fruit trees.

Just my humble opinion. wink.png

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please take a moment ....

www.smokethedocumentary.com

I watched that documentary. Parts of it were informative, and parts of it were a bit naive. For one thing the whole premise of the show is how bad the smoky season is (that part is excellent) and what to do about it (not so good). What they give for solutions are ways to dispose of corn stalks.

This shows me that they don't really understand the main cause of the smoke. The smoky season is February thru April, this is the time land needs to be cleared for planting before the rainy season.

The biggest source of smoke is the breaking of new land or land that has been left for a year or two and has been overgrown with various jungle plants. New land is the biggest smoker of all. It is amazing how hot and powerful a dried out stand of bamboo can burn. But just burning of the grasses and shrubs from a field left unplanted for one or two years produces a massive and very smoky blaze. Also at this time of year people burn undergrowth in forest areas. I have no idea why they are doing that.

As for corn; last years scattered corn stalks on the ground are not much of hindrance to planting the next crop. So those fields are not even always burned, and if they are burned it is a small amount of smoke compared to a field full of vegetation. In fact corn stalks don't even burn well unless you stack them up. In the video they suggested burning the corn in specially modified barrels to create safer smoke. I can't imagine getting these guys to gather up all their corn stalks to be burned in barrels unless there was some monetary incentive. They truly don't give a crap, and wouldn't understand the benefit anyhow.

One thing I was hoping to see in the video was a solution to disposing of corn husks. You may have seen the mountains of cornhusks on the side of the road where the corn has been threshed. This they do burn, and it is a major cause of haze in the months just after the rains. There has got to be something you can to with all of that bio mass.

But my point is; yes corn is the reason for the increased smoke this time of year, but it is not the burning of corn that is the primary problem. The real trouble is the clearing of land. What is the answer for that?

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I agree that the documentary is informative for those who don’t live here or do not have firsthand knowledge. The images do more to explain than mere words. I thought they were weak in the solutions department but at least seemed to acknowledge it is a big and somewhat complicated problem.

Where I live there really isn’t much in the way of clearing new land. It is almost entirely burning of rice stubble and the weeds which grow quickly after the fields are harvested. Even when they plow the fields they still burn the dividers between the fields and as much of the stubble as they can.
Another big source is the leaf litter and branches of fruit trees which are trimmed off to stimulate new growth and more fruit the next year. Since the above ground part of the cassava plant is reused for replanting the field there is not much burning associated with that crop.

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please take a moment ....

www.smokethedocumentary.com

The biggest source of smoke is the breaking of new land or land that has been left for a year or two and has been overgrown with various jungle plants. New land is the biggest smoker of all. It is amazing how hot and powerful a dried out stand of bamboo can burn. But just burning of the grasses and shrubs from a field left unplanted for one or two years produces a massive and very smoky blaze.

That's what I thought might be the case. I don't think there can be just one solution for all circumstances. The central message that should be taught to all these farmers and hill tribe people who engage in burn-off, is the advantages of returning all organic waste, including felled trees, back to the soil, and the disadvantages of unrestricted burn-off which affects everyone's health.

Of course, when one is not aware of the details and the individual circumstances, it's difficult to give good advice, but the problem seems to be in finding a solution which does not make the poor farmers financially worse off.

Also at this time of year people burn undergrowth in forest areas. I have no idea why they are doing that.

I suspect it might be to reduce the impact and spread of any accidental bush fires due to lightning strikes or other causes.

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It's definitely getting thicker, the mountains are gone this morning.

(For all pedants... they are probably still there, I just cant see them behind the haze). rolleyes.gif

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Where I live they claim that burning the forest helps produce a better mushroom crop during the rainy season. They are not concerned with lightning strikes or accidental bush fires. That is a very western idea.

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Where I live they claim that burning the forest helps produce a better mushroom crop during the rainy season. They are not concerned with lightning strikes or accidental bush fires. That is a very western idea.

I see! You mean they plant the mushrooms between the trees and the mushrooms are naturally fertilized by the ashes from the burning of the undergrowth? I guess that would be a great idea were it not for the contribution to the pollution and haze.

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The smoke haze in Phayao today is very bad. I live on the other side of the lake to Phayao. I cannot see any buildings in Phayao. Looking west the mountains have also disapeared.

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