Fire has long been used in Southeast Asia for the purposes of cooking, protection, and warmth. However, climate change and economic pressure have modified the life of locals, including fire practices in daily life and other fire uses. The land use of forest cover in highland area (mostly deciduous forest) has shifted to cultivation, with the application of slash-and-burn techniques. This results in frequent unplanned fires causing pollution in the form of smoke and haze. A zero-burn policy has been implemented to tackle this problem but such a policy may not be appropriate as people still need fire as a basic tool for agriculture land preparation. Moreover, the deciduous forest is a fire-dependent ecosystem to maintain its ecosystem. Frequent burning by local people or excessive government intervention in preventing fires can impact this ecosystem. In the highlands, shifting cultivation has gradually been replaced by rotational agricultural practice with a cycle of 2 to 5 years. However, the fuel load for a 2-year rotation period is only 0.25 tha-1 higher than that of a mixed deciduous forest. New fire risk maps classified according to forest types were produced for Thailand, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. We report that the mixing layer (ML) height in Chiang Mai Province was, on average, 500 m during March, with common occurrence of subsidence inversion resulting in further lowering of air quality during this month. A participatory process to develop a Community Based Fire Management (CBFiM) was undertaken and it was observed that a successful implementation would need a community with a strong leadership.