JAKARTA (dpa) – Water bombings and artificial rain have reduced forest and brush fires in parts of Indonesia, an official said Friday.
Haze from the fires has blanketed much of Sumatra and the Indonesian part of Borneo and Sulawesi islands this week.
The smoke from Sumatra and Borneo has also spread to Singapore and Malaysia, causing the pollutant index in the countries to reach unhealthy levels this week. The government has deployed nine helicopters and other aircraft to drop water and carry out cloud-seeding to force rain in affected areas, said Sutopo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.
“The fire-fighting operations have reduced hotspots on Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo),” he said, adding that more aircraft will be deployed in the coming days.
Satellite images on Thursday showed there was about 200 hotspots in the Indonesian part of Borneo, 10 on Sumatra and more than 100 on Sulawesi, he said.a