EoF News (PEKANBARU)— Eyes on the Forest published NASA’s FIRMS MODIS fire hotspots data and satellite images on its interactive map to allow easy monitoring of current and past fires in Sumatran concessions of the Sinar Mas Group/Asia Pulp & Paper and others.
Eyes on the Forest today published a new animation it produced using MODIS True Color Terra images since 17 August 2015. The animation shows smokes coming out of Asia Pulp & Paper's own PT. Rimba Hutani Mas concession in South Sumatra.
Eyes on the Forest found two Landsat images showing fires in and around concessions of four Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) suppliers in peat areas in Jambi and South Sumatra provinces and heavy smokes from them.
NGOs in West Kalimantan analyzed that 217 fires hotspots detected by NASA Firms Eosdis during 28 June – 6 July 2015. 124 out of 217 hotspots or 57 percent was found in palm oil concessions and by districts, Kubu Raya is the most area hit by fires with 81 and followed by Ketapang and Sambas with 44 and 36 respectively.
Eyes on the Forest analyzed that 290 fires hotspots accumulatively detected in period of 11 January - 11 February 2015 where Bengkalis district has got 160 of it, the most among the district in Riau Province.
The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, accompanied by the Minister of Forestry and Environment Siti Nurbaya, came to Riau province last week to monitor the burned forest areas that caused haze in Sungai Tohor village, Meranti Islands District, media reported.
A number of environmental communities and organizations participated in ‘Melawan Asap’ (Fighting against Smoke) action and made speech along their protest in the front of Zapin Monument and Riau Governor Office, Pekanbaru, on Monday (10/3). On this seventeenth ‘anniversary’ of Riau fires and smog disaster, they demanded immediate and serious handling from the central government and the provincial government of Riau.
After being free from haze and fires since September 2013, Riau’s annual problem, haze and wildfires, returns to Riau since the end of January 2014. The increasing hotspots which are found in plantations’ concessions as well as outside concessions which have caused the worsening air quality in the province, as schools closed and thousands people infected by respiratory infections.
Fires hotspots likely got its peak this month on Tuesday (27 August) seeing the 5th largest number of hotspots (758) recorded since 1 June this year, as 26% of that found inside the Tesso Nilo complex.
Sumatra’s Riau province is suffering Indonesia’s worst fire season in recent years with serious smoke choking the region and neighboring Singapore and southern Malaysia. Eyes on the Forest has been tracking forest and land cover change and those who drive it in Riau since the early 1990s.