Indonesia sent 1,600 more soldiers in an intensified effort to control forest fires and farms in Sumatra (Photo:AFP/VNA)

 

Indonesia sent 1,600 more soldiers in an intensified effort to control forest fires and farms in Sumatra in the central region on September 15.

The forest fires have forced school closures in neighbouring Malaysia and suspended many flights as well as impacted the Singapore Grand Prix 2015.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged security forces to step up efforts to put out fires after the country declared a state of emergency in two provinces in the central region, Riau and Kalimantan, triggered by dangerous air quality levels.

Forest fires, common in Southeast Asia in the dry season, have swept through Indonesia’s Sumatra and Borneo Island in the past two weeks, belching out a thick cloud of smoke carried by strong winds to Singapore and Malaysia.

Many of the fires were derived from farmers and local landlords who burned trees and bushes on hills to clear land for palm plantation serving paper production.-VNA