Indonesia is in the grip of forest fires and its Disaster Mitigation Agency says there are more than 3,600 fires on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Weather satellites have detected these, and the fires have affected the quality of air in a number of provinces. Nearly 23 million people are at the receiving end. Smoke from the fires has spread to neighboring Malaysia and played havoc with the resultant closure of hundreds of schools. In addition, the authorities in Malaysia distributed facemasks to its people to avoid health hazards.

The Guardian says Indonesia does not accept full responsibility for the creation of the situation.

Its Environment minister argues that the country is trying its best to resolve the issue but “Not all smog is from Indonesia.” The minister explains that it could have originated in Sarawak, peninsular Malaysia or Indonesian Borneo. Data from an authentic source indicates the total number of hotspots in Malaysia were only seven compared to hundreds in Kalimantan, which is in Borneo and in Sumatra, which is an island of Indonesia. The source is the ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Center (ASMC).

Fires of this nature lead to issues of health

Any Forest Fire translates into a loss of lives, properties, and infrastructure apart from secondary damage to survivors who suffer from smoke-related health issues.

In view of the ongoing crisis, Malaysia has urged Indonesia to take the necessary action as a priority. The country’s ambassador to Indonesia clarified that Malaysia was not blaming anybody but was extending assistance to help tackle the fires. It has already closed many schools as a precautionary measure and dispatched nearly half a million facemasks to safeguard the population.

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The Guardian explains that minuscule particles in the haze carry with them health risks.

These include stroke, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory infections. In the opinion of experts, unless forest fires are checked, exposure to smoke could lead to thousands of premature deaths in the region over the next few decades. Fires of this nature destroy the ecological balance and ruin the environment. Recovering from the loss is usually a time-consuming process and a costly affair.

Indonesian fires were similar to the Amazon fires

According to CNN, humans were responsible for the forest fires in Indonesia. Certain groups had intentionally resorted to “slash and burn techniques to clear the ecologically rich land.” It resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of people and the deployment of teams to battle the flames.

The farmers in Indonesia apparently followed the precedent set by farmers of the Brazilian Amazon that led to the recent fires in the Amazon rainforest. Humans destroyed them to fulfill their personal agendas. Petronas Twin Towers is a famous landmark of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and gray smog shrouded it. These fires are not new because earlier, smog from fires originating in Sumatra had a direct effect on neighboring countries like Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.