The 1997 fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia: Gaseous and particulate emissions



Extensive and widespread vegetation and peat fires swept throughout Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia, from August 1997 through March 1998. The fires resulted from routine burning for land clearing and land-use change. However, the severe drought conditions resulting from El Nino caused small land-clearing fires to become large uncontrolled wildfires. Analysis of SPOT images indicate that a total of 45,600 km² burned between August and December 1997. In this paper, the gaseous and particulate emissions resulting from the 1997 fires are estimated. On a daily basis, the calculated emissions of CO2, CO, CH4, NOx, and particulates from the Kalimantan and Sumatra fires of 1997 significantly exceeded the emissions from the Kuwait oil fires of 1991.