Fires in Indonesia Blanket Islands and Cities in Smog

Over the past month, the annual slash-and-burn efforts to create agricultural land across Indonesia’s Sumatra and Borneo islands have led to nearly 1,000 wildfires that are generating thick clouds of smoke and haze now blanketing parts of Southeast Asia. Most of the blazes are illegal fires set to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood industries. Malaysia is pressuring neighboring Indonesia to address the wildfires and step up enforcement to prevent future illegal burns. Its air quality has officially reached “unhealthy” levels, and dozens of schools have been closed.

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