Fires burn in Sumatra, drive air pollution in Malaysia via @mongabay #palmoil #orangutans
Fires burn in Sumatra, drive air pollution in Malaysia mongabay.com May 13, 2011 More than 100 Indonesian firefighters are battling peatland fires set by oil palm plantation developers in Riau province on the island of Sumatra, reports the AFP. "The smoke comes from fires in peatland areas in Riau province," forestry ministry official Deni Haryanto told AFP. "Our satellite monitoring shows that the fires in Rokan Hilir of Bengkalis district have been on and off since they started on Monday." Smoke from the fires has boosted air pollution to unsafe levels in Malaysia and Singapore. Riau is viewed by environmentalists as ground-zero for efforts to slow deforestation and destruction of peatlands, activities which account for more than three-quarters of Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions. A 2008 study by WWF found that deforestation of nearly 10.5 million acres of tropical f...