Blazes have been raging on Sumatra and Borneo islands with Indonesia deploying water-bombing helicopters and thousands of security forces to tackle them. In recent days, fires sent toxic smog floating over Malaysia triggering a diplomatic row.
It is just the latest such outbreak globally –– huge blazes have torn through the Amazon in South America while bushfires are sweeping across eastern Australia in an unusually ferocious and early start to the wildfire season.
A firefighter extinguishes a fire in a forest at Rambutan village, in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra province, on September 11, 2019. (AFP)
Provincial capital Pekanbaru was blanketed in dense smoke, leaving the sky dark even at midday. Residents sought to go about their daily lives as usual, with many wearing only rudimentary face masks.
This picture taken on September 7, 2019 shows Indonesian firefighters battling a fire at a palm oil plantation in Pekanbaru, Riau. (AFP)
"This should remind people we are facing a climate crisis," he said of the recent fires around the world.
In 2015 Indonesia suffered its worst forest fires for about two decades, which dramatically increased its greenhouse gas emissions.
Diplomatic tensions were also rising as Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin accused her Indonesian counterpart of being "in denial," after Jakarta insisted fires in Malaysia had caused the smog there.
Indonesian Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar hit back on Wednesday, telling AFP that "hotspots are not only found in Indonesia, but also in Sarawak [on Malaysian Borneo] and peninsular Malaysia."
After being cleared and drained of water, peat is highly combustible and hard to extinguish once ablaze.Read more: TRT World
Indonesian forests are burning, and Malaysia and Singapore are choking on the fumes Malaysia n authorities distributed half a million face masks to residents on Tuesday after large-scale forest fire s in Indonesia spread smoke and thick smog to neighboring countries. Seems like the whole world is on fire. Where are EmmanuelMacron? Where are the hipocrites? Why don't you (ONGs) go stealing Malaysian forest? AmazoniaSemONGs
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