'You can feel the heat radiating', says Singaporean who helped battle forest fires in Indonesia

Mr Benjamin Tay, executive director of charity PM Haze (People's Movement to Stop Haze), helping community firefighters fight a peat fire in a forest near Tanjung Sari village in Riau province, Indonesia, during the weekend. PHOTO: COURTESY OF BENJAM
Mr Benjamin Tay, executive director of charity PM Haze (People's Movement to Stop Haze), helping community firefighters fight a peat fire in a forest near Tanjung Sari village in Riau province, Indonesia, during the weekend.PHOTO: COURTESY OF BENJAMIN TAY

Battling a fire in Indonesia that had raged for a week felt like an impossible task for Singaporean Benjamin Tay.

"You can feel the heat radiating and see small plumes of smoke from the ground because peat fires burn on and under the ground," Mr Tay, 37, told The Straits Times yesterday, after returning from the burning 10ha peatland near Tanjung Sari village in Riau province.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2019, with the headline 'Singaporean back after helping volunteers in Riau battle fires'. Subscribe