Haze problem seen to be less severe in Indonesia this year

Land-clearance fires unlikely to rage out of control as no prolonged dry spells expected

Firefighters in Riau, Indonesia, extinguishing a forest fire in September last year, when a prolonged dry season saw the PM10 Pollutant Standards Index in Riau's capital of Pekanbaru surging over 700, a record high.
Firefighters in Riau, Indonesia, extinguishing a forest fire in September last year, when a prolonged dry season saw the PM10 Pollutant Standards Index in Riau's capital of Pekanbaru surging over 700, a record high.PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

The haze from Indonesia is unlikely to hang as heavy this year as it did last year, as weather patterns are expected to return to normal for most of the year, says the weatherman.

Sans the prolonged droughts that plagued the country, there is less chance that forest and plantation fires started during land clearance will rage out of control as they did last year in Sumatra, Kalimantan and other provinces.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2020, with the headline 'Haze problem seen to be less severe in Indonesia this year'. Subscribe