Wildfires – Indonesia
Brazil has captured global attention over deliberately set fires that are burning the Amazon rainforest, often called the earth’s lungs. Now Indonesia is compounding the concern with blazes to clear forest on the other side of the world.
Hundreds of wildfires burned across Indonesian Borneo and Sumatra on Tuesday, producing thick clouds of smoke that disrupted air travel, forced schools to close and sickened many thousands of people. Poorly equipped firefighters were unable to bring them under control.
Officials said that about 80 percent of the fires were set intentionally to make room for palm plantations, a lucrative cash crop that has led to deforestation on much of Sumatra.
The slash-and-burn conflagrations, which tore through sensitive rainforests where dozens of endangered species live, immediately drew comparisons to the wildfires in the Amazon basin that have destroyed more than 2 million acres.
Wildfires – Australia
Across NSW, the latest confirmed losses from the current spate of bushfires are:
. 26 homes destroyed, 13 damaged
. 6 facilities destroyed, 2 damaged
. 77 outbuildings destroyed, 50 damaged