« Smoke blanketed the city of Palangkaraya, the capital of the Indonesian Central Kalimantan province, on Friday, due to forest fires that affected the air quality in the area.
Footage shows the smoke covering the city and residents wearing masks to protect themselves from inhaling the haze’s dusty particles.
« We have difficulty in breathing, our health condition degraded, and this smoke made our life miserable », said Anita, a resident.
Another local, Andi, complained about ‘difficulty in breathing, cough, flue, and more’. « I hope the government is can take serious action effectively to fix this situation, and we can breath fresh air again soon. We hope that the government can take effective action so the fire from the forest can be put down and everything goes back to normal again », he added.
Last week, the Education Office in the city reduced school hours due to the danger posed by wildfire smoke.
Forest fires hitting the country amid this dry season have become a current issue of concern in Indonesia, after years of comparatively calm fire seasons. According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, around 267,900 hectares have been devastated by the flames since the beginning of 2023, surpassing the area burned during all of 2022. »