Haze returns to Indonesia as fires rage

Aug 27, 2013
An Indonesian worker from a private palm oil concession company extinguishes a forest fire on June 29, 2013 on Sumatra island. Fires cloaked parts of Indonesia's Sumatra in thick smog Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of flights, two months after blazes on the island sparked Southeast Asia's worst haze crisis for years.

Fires cloaked parts of Indonesia's Sumatra in thick smog Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of flights, two months after blazes on the island sparked Southeast Asia's worst haze crisis for years.

Two water-bombing helicopters were deployed to tackle the blazes on Sumatra, where haze generated by forest and peatland fires set to clear land for cultivation is an annual problem.

Some 488 fire hotspots had been detected by late Tuesday, according to the national disaster mitigation agency.

Flights to and from Pekanbaru city, the capital of Riau province, had been disrupted, with only one able to land in the past two days, agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

However, he added that neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia, badly hit by the June haze crisis, were "not affected at the moment because the wind is blowing northwest, so its only spreading over Riau".

The blazes in June on Sumatra left Singapore and Malaysia choking on the worst haze in more than a decade.

The scared off tourists, forced schools to close and caused a rise in .

The fires have been largely blamed on firms using the illegal but cheap method of burning vast tracts of rainforest and peatland to clear them for planting.

Explore further: More management needed for Rottnest marine debris

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Indonesia to use rain-making technology to stop fires

Jun 19, 2013

Indonesia plans to use weather changing technology to try to unleash torrents of rain and extinguish raging fires on Sumatra island that have cloaked neighbouring Singapore in thick haze, an official said ...

Indonesia set to ratify haze treaty by early 2014

Jul 17, 2013

Indonesia said Wednesday it hopes to ratify a regional treaty by early next year to fight smog from forest fires that brings misery to millions, but an activist said tougher steps are needed.

Recommended for you

Research team studies 'regime shifts' in ecosystems

2 hours ago

The prehistory of major ecological shifts spanning multiple millennia can be read in the fine print of microscopic algae, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

New policymaking tool for shift to renewable energy

6 hours ago

Multiple pathways exist to a low greenhouse gas future, all involving increased efficiency and a dramatic shift in energy supply away from fossil fuels. A new tool 'SWITCH' enables policymakers and planners to assess the ...

User comments : 0