Indonesia fights fires in plantations amid drought


JAKARTA: Indonesia is stepping up efforts to prevent a repeat of haze that blanketed much of South-East Asia four years ago by deploying thousands of firefighters and emergency response teams in its main palm oil and rubber-producing regions.

Authorities have declared a state of emergency in some provinces after detecting 84 hot spots.

More than 9,000 personnel from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the military, police, environmental groups and private companies, including Asia Pulp & Paper Co have been deployed to combat the fires so far this season.

An estimated 11.8 million hectares of land across the archipelago is having a long and unusually dry season this year with the livelihoods of 48.5 million people at risk, according to Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Culture. — Bloomberg
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