Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Indonesia faces challenging problems to quell ongoing forest fires

Terra Daily via Xinhua: Indonesia is facing challenging problems in dealing with the annual forest fire issue as it is related to perilous attitude of people living around the forest and plantations.

A senior official said 99 percent of fires in the forest were incited by intentional torching, conducted both in rain and dry seasons.

"During February to July, the hotspots were even higher than in the previous years. It means that the torching was also conducted in rainy season," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesperson of National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said in his office here on Wednesday, explaining the ongoing forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan provinces whose haze has disrupted activities in several cities, spreading to neighboring countries of Singapore and Malaysia.

Sutopo added that while the nation's largest forest fire in 1997 was ultimately contributed by the El Nino natural phenomenon, "now 99 percent of forest fires were caused by intentional torching, (which)makes the fire razes on and hard to be controlled. This nightmare may continue until peak of dry season estimated in October."…
Citing satellite monitor data, Sutopo added that the hotspots in Sumatra and Kalimantan has been sprawling high, as in Sept. 13 they were detected at 351 locations, but two days later the hotspots in two islands have expanded high to 1,644 locations….

NASA image of 2009 fires in Borneo

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