The fires devastating Indonesia have been called a ‘crime against humanity’. How did they start, what damage are they causing and who’s to blame?
The most obvious damage is to the forest where the fires are occurring. Indonesia’s tropical forests represent some of the most diverse habitats on the planet. The current fire outbreak adds to decades of existing deforestation by palm oil, timber and other agribusiness operators, further imperilling endangered species such as the orangutan.
Officials in Indonesia are using trained elephants outfitted with water pumps and hoses to help patrol forests and control fires. Carrying water pumps and other equipment such as the MARK-3®, elephants and their crews patrol burned areas in the national forest to ensure that fires don’t reappear after smouldering beneath the peat lands.