Dry spells in parts of Indonesia have led to fires flaring up in north and central Sumatra. Over 350 hot spots were detected on 1 August, up from about 300 the day before. This is below the near 8,000 hot spots recorded in 2006, during Singapore's worst recent episodes of haze, but things are likely to worsen.
More fires are expected in August as the peak of the dry season coincides with farmers and plantation workers stepping up their land-clearing activities, warn weathermen and environmentalists in Indonesia.
Smoke plumes from Sumatra shrouded Penang in Malaysia on 30 July, wih some areas experiencing poor visibility of between 2km and 6km. But so far there have been no reports of the smoke haze affecting population centres in Sumatra.
Meanwhile in Indonesia, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) in Pekanbaru has reported detecting only some 111 hot spots, indicating forest fires, in various parts of Riau province.
However, the Indonesian BMG also warned the number could easily increase, with no rains expected in the area in the near future.
Sources: Antara, August 2, Over 100 hotspots identified in Riau,http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/08/02/over-100-hotspots-identified-riau.html
The Straits Times, Aug 2, Sumatra hot spots spell hazy days ahead, http://www.straitstimes.com/Prime+News/Story/STIStory_263531.html?sunwMe...