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Keywords:

  • drought;
  • Indonesia;
  • runaway fires;
  • smoke-haze

ABSTRACT. Fires on Sumatra and Kalimantan have taken a heavy toll on Indonesia' remaining tropical forests. Drought exacerbates the fire hazard, but it does not cause the fires, most of which have been the result of inappropriate land-use policies and practices. Peatland fires have emitted vast quantities of smoke that periodically blanket large parts of insular Southeast Asia, impairing visibility, disrupting travel, hampering economic activity, and posing serious health risks. The development agenda of Indonesia' New Order regime paid scant attention to forest management, including the need to detect, control, and suppress unwanted fires.