Hotspots and haze return as dry spell hits Sumatra

Hundreds of hotspots indicating the presence of wildfires have been reported in provinces on Sumatra island, which is currently experiencing a dry spell, with temperatures soaring up to 35 degrees Celsius.

Based on the NOAA-18 Satellite monitoring data, a total of 1,470 hotspots were detected across Sumatra during the period between Jan. 1 and June 16, 2015. Of the total hotspots, 621 were found in Riau province, according to Antara news agency.

Sumatra, particularly Riau, has been affected by wildfires in forest, peatland or plantation areas every year over the last 17 years.

On June 28, 2015, the Terra and Aqua satellites detected 207 hotspots across Sumatra.

Of the 207 hotspots, 70 were detected in Riau, said the Pekanbaru meteorological, climatology and geophysics station's head, Sugarin.

In Riau, 24 hotspots were found in Pelalawan regency, 18 in Rokan Hilir, nine in Bengkalis, six in Indragiri Hilir, five in Dumai, three in Siak and Indragiri Hulu. One hotspot each was found in Kuantansingigi, Meranti and Kampar.