Haze created by Indonesian agriculture fires have authorities rushing to put out fires and find those responsible. Julie Noce reports.
Fire officials dump buckets of water on agriculture fires in parts of western Indonesia. The fires are creating unhealthy air quality levels in the region, as well as neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia. Southeast Asia has suffered for years from these annual bouts of haze which is usually caused by companies and small-holder farmers clearing land quickly for palm or pulp and paper. Wednesday, officials said they detained more than 40 people in connection with starting some of the fires. Suspects have confessed that they'd been paid seven dollars each to burn the land, a police officer said. They said the land owner who told them to do it is on the run. Earlier this week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for strong action against anyone caught lighting fires to clear forested land. Indonesian Environment Ministry said it plans to sanction three or four of the 26 companies under investigation and may decide to revoke their land permits.