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Firefighters battle forest fires on Sumatra JAKARTA - Firefighters battle dozens of land-clearing forest fires on the island of Sumatra, officials told, as thick clouds of haze spread across parts of the region. Donny Osmon, head of a local firefighter agency, said that farmers and agricultural companies began setting the fires last Sunday, at the start of the dry season, to clear brush and peat lands for use as agricultural estate.

The police is investigating the fires, he said, amid fears the blazes would spread. So far 37 hot spot have been detected but the number of fires is expected to rise in the hundreds within the next few weeks. Haze from forest fires has become a major problem for large parts of Southeast Asia over the last decade and has become a source of tension between Malaysia and Singapore. Residents and workers on Sumatra itself complained as well.

"This is an annual problem for us," said Asnan, a chief of plantation workers at PT. Muaro Kahuripan, denying any involvement by his palm oil company. "The government has to stop the fires from the beginning."


Related blog entries (category 'Forest fires') Related blog entries (category 'Forest fires'):
15 July 2007 · Annual haze disrupts flights in Indonesia
17 June 2007 · Funds for handling forest fires reach Rp300 bln
03 March 2007 · Satellite tracks wildfire plumes in Indonesia
03 November 2006 · Indonesia says forest fires almost gone
31 October 2006 · Indonesia haze back over Singapore
26 October 2006 · Death toll from bridge collapse rises to 7
10 October 2006 · Bird flu found in pigs in Bali
08 October 2006 · Air quality in Singapore improves after PSI hit high of 150


Posted in Forest fires @ 19 July 2007 09:57 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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