On Wednesday, July 1, authorities in Kalimantan province declared a state of emergency following the identification of more than 700 fires. The annual fire season comes as the team responsible for identifying and extinguishing fires lost half of its budget due to the economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), raising fears the lack of funds might leave local communities to deal with fires by themselves. The state of emergency is to remain in place until September 28.
Further fires are possible in the near term, presenting a risk of travel disruptions in affected areas.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, keep abreast of warnings, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, confirm road conditions prior to travelling, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, particularly evacuation orders.
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