Illustrative image (Source: NDTV)
Hanoi (VNA) - Indonesia warned on Aug 19 that haze from forest fires is floating towards its neighbours, and that the number of blazes is rising.

Indonesia’s disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho warned that smoke from Riau province starts entering the Malacca Strait that runs between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

As of August 19, a total of 158 hot spots were detected in the province, up from 106 a day earlier.

Indonesia has faced intense criticism from its neighbours and the international community over its failure to halt the annual smog outbreaks due to forest fires that make way for palm oil and pulpwood plantations.

But 2015’s haze outbreak from September-November was among the worst in memory, shrouding Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Thailand in acrid smoke.

According to Malaysia’s “The Star” newswire, air quality in several Malaysian cities has been deteriorating over the past week due to smog from forest fires in Indonesia.

Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Wan Junaidi Tuanku said the smog impact parts of Malaysian peninsula and Sarawak though Indonesia worked hard to extinguish forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.-VNA