Authorities in charge of preventing fires in Riau have issued a province-wide shoot-on-sight order against individuals illegally clearing land using fires. This measure comes as over 120 fire hotspots were detected in the province August 16, most of which were intentionally ignited to clear land. The many fires have blanketed parts of the province in smog, including the provincial capital Pekanbaru and the city of Dumai. The current dry season and strong winds are facilitating the spread of the fires.
Similar shoot-on-sight orders were issued over the past year in Jambi (central Sumatra). There are fears the traditional land cleaning practice will negatively impact the 18th Asian Games, being held in Palembang (South Sumatra province) August 18 to September 2.
Air quality in Indonesia’s major cities can often reach levels considered unhealthy. Air quality data for Jakarta is available at this website.
Individuals present in Riau province are advised to keep abreast of local weather forecasts and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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