Malaysia begins upset with forest fires in Indonesia

Malaysia begins upset with forest fires in Indonesia

15 March 2006

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Pekanbaru, Riau — Malaysia has expressed worry about haze that came from forest fires in Indonesian province of Riau, an Indonesian official said here Wednesday.

“Malaysian Environment Minister Datuk Isnaini told us that Malaysia has begun to feel worried about forest fires in Indonesia notably in Riau province,” Riau environmental impact management agency head Khairul Zainal said after seeing off a 45-member quick reaction team (TRC) which was tasked to monitor the Bukit Batu reserved forests in Bengkalis district and put out hot spots.

Khairul said Malaysia has thus offered cooperation to put out hot spots in Riau islands and to exchange information on how to handle forest fires which have become an annual disaster in Indonesia.

Reports said that besides the annual forest fires in Indonesia poluted the air quality, it always disrupted flights in neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

He said some areas in Riau such as Senepis wildlife reserve in Dumai town and a forest area in Rupat Utara subdistrict in Bengkalis district were on fire.

The two areas are close to Malaysia`s state of Malacca, he said.

Khairul said he has told the people to help the administration to put out fires and hotspots said in order to save endangered animals like tigers and other specific fauna species from extinction.

Data of the Bengkalis district administration showed that there were 75 hot spots in Bengkalis and Rokan Hilir districts and Dumai town.


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