Wildfires – Indonesia
Indonesia launched its biggest operation till date to tackle wildfires enveloping Southeast Asian countries in haze. Fires illegally started to clear fields for plantation have left countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore in thick, dense haze.
The ‘notorious’ El-Nino weather system has led to bone-dry conditions in Indonesia. Although such wildfires are a common annual affair, weather scientists have warned that this year’s blazes might just be the worst ever due to the dry weather conditions prevailing in the region.
Jakarta has said yes to international help after weeks of failed attempts aimed at controlling the wildfires. The country, on Friday, launched a large-scale operation which includes 32 planes and helicopters, out of which six are from Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. Some 22,000 personnel including army troops are a part of this operation. If this was not enough, new fires continue to sprout across the region due to extremely dry weather conditions. Air quality levels in the region continue to plummet as schools have also been shut.
On Friday, when Indonesia committed a large force to contain the fires, Japan donated two tons of flame retardant to the operation. As per a report by Global Fire Emissions Database, Indonesia has witnessed close to 100,000 active fires in 2015. These fires have led to emissions on a daily basis. These emissions exceed the average per day emissions from the entire US Economic activity. It is now being deemed as a major climate catastrophe.
Bushfires – Queensland, Australia
Firefighters are desperately trying to gain control of a large, fast-moving bushfire which is threatening homes in Townsville, north Queensland – with authorities telling residents to evacuate.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising residents in the area of The Pinnacles, Round Mountain to enact their bushfire plans immediately.
The fire is moving in a south-westerly direction and is expected to affect Moncrieff Road, Laudberg Road, Round Mountain Road and Laudham Road, Kelso.
Currently 18 fire crews are tackling the blaze but it is moving quickly and firefighters are finding it difficult to control.