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Indonesia Fights Fires in Palm-Growing Regions to Prevent Deadly Haze

  • Country detects 84 hot spots in five provinces, agency says
  • Most of Southeast Asia hit by 2015 haze caused by forest fires
Forest and land fire task force officers douse a fire at a palm oil plantation in Riau province.
Forest and land fire task force officers douse a fire at a palm oil plantation in Riau province.Photographer: Wahyudi/AFP via Getty Images

Indonesia is stepping up efforts to prevent a repeat of haze that blanketed much of Southeast Asia four years ago by deploying thousands of firefighters and emergency response teams in its main palm oil- and rubber-producing regions.

Authorities have declared a state of emergency in some provinces after detecting 84 hot spots. More than 9,000 personnel from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the military, police, environmental groups and private companies, including Asia Pulp & Paper Co. have been deployed to combat the fires so far this season.