Indonesia forest fire threat rises

Indonesia’s disaster agency has warned of an increasing threat of forest fires as the dry season peaks in coming months, while hot spots detected in the province of Aceh have already been causing choking smoke.

Fires had spread to more than 60ha of fields and forests in Aceh, Sumatra, and some residents had been taken to hospital due to breathing problems due to the haze.

“The peak of the dry season is predicted to be in August and September so the threat of forest and field fires, and drought will escalate,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

The fires in Aceh started on Tuesday last week and authorities are still trying to put them out in some areas.

Meanwhile, a satellite image showed 170 hot spots across Indonesia as of Monday night.

Indonesia is regularly hit by forest fires, which can result in choking smoke blowing across to neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.

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