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Forest fires in Indonesia: 8,000 fire fighting workers deployed

Forest fires in Indonesia: 8,000 fire fighting workers deployed

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency says it has deployed at least 8,072 workers and 34 helicopters to extinguish forest and brush fires that have ravaged parts of Sumatra and Borneo islands.

Agus Wibowo, spokesman for the agency made this known on Tuesday.

Fires have broken out in six provinces, sending air pollution to unhealthy levels in some areas, said Agus Wibowo, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency

“At least 358 hot spots indicating fires were detected on Monday,” Agus said.

Forest fires are an annual hazard in Indonesia, and the resulting haze often affects neighbouring Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, driving air pollution to hazardous levels.

A study by researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities found that more than 100,000 people in South-East Asia may have died prematurely in 2015 as a result of forest fires in Indonesia.

According to dpa news, at least 25 people were killed in the 2015 fires, which caused economic losses estimated at 16 billion dollars.

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