13 May '11, 5am

Indonesian forest fires send pollution to neighboring Malaysia.

Indonesian forest fires send pollution to neighboring Malaysia.

JAKARTA: Indonesia has sent 120 firefighters to battle blazes from peatland areas that are causing unhealthy levels of pollution in neighbouring Malaysia, an official said on Friday. Authorities in Kuala Lumpur said on Thursday air quality had reached 104 in Port Klang, on a scale which rates 101-200 as unhealthy. Elsewhere in central Selangor state, 29 areas had "moderate" readings. "The smoke comes from fires in peatland areas in Riau province," forestry ministry fire control official Deni Haryanto told AFP. The fires are used to clear land for palm oil plantations, he said. "Our satellite monitoring shows that the fires in Rokan Hilir of Bengkalis district have been on and off since they started on Monday," Haryanto said. Fires on peatland can burn for days and release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Even when extinguished on the surface they can continue bu...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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