Persistent burning of waste in the Smorprong area continues to be a thorn in the side for local residents, whom claim their pleas for help from authorities have fallen on deaf ears.
Back in April, Hua Hin Today shed light on this recurring issue experienced by inhabitants of a property development in Hua Hin. Residents, requesting anonymity both for themselves and their development, claim the burning has plagued them for years.
They claim that various items are being incinerated, including garden waste and, more worryingly, plastic. This burning emits a dense smog, releasing a significant amount of smoke into the surrounding environment.
For many in the affected area, this means sealed windows are a necessity.
The residents say they are often forced to keep their windows and doors closed due to the unpleasant smell and smoke from the burning.
Highlighting the health implications of this recurring problem, one resident, diagnosed with a respiratory condition, has been medically advised to stay indoors.
Meanwhile, their indoor air purifier, which consistently showcases three-digit readings denote a severe dip in air quality.
While those responsible for the burning remain unidentified, eyewitness accounts from the locals point fingers at trucks transporting garden waste to the burn sites. Such reports, though not verified, compound the anxiety and helplessness felt by those living nearby.
How to report illegal burning in Hua Hin
Burning in open areas in Hua Hin is illegal, and those found guilty can be fined and imprisoned.
Penalties for illegal burning are determined by the severity of the act:
Less Severe Cases: Burning that doesn’t cause direct injury but has potential harmful effects, like odor, radiation, or ash, can result in:
- A warning letter from local authorities to the landowner, specifying preventive measures for the future.
- If ignored, the penalties include imprisonment up to 1 month, a fine up to 2,000 Baht, or both.
Injury or Public Hazard: Burning that leads to injuries or potential health risks for the public, or property damage, falls under Section 220 of the Penal Code. Offenders can face:
- Imprisonment up to 7 years.
- A fine not exceeding 14,000 Baht.
Severe Danger: If the burning poses significant danger to others’ property or lives, it falls under Section 218 or Section 224. This results in:
- The heaviest punishment possible, with the maximum penalty of death available.
- If the fire spreads due to conditions like strong winds and endangers others’ property, the penalties become even more severe.
Hua Hin Municipality urges the public to avoid outdoor burning, given the growing air pollution concerns.
To report any issues regarding illegal burning in Hua Hin, contact the Division of Public Health and Environment Hua Hin Municipality at phone number 032 511 047 ext. 107 during working hours.