Indonesian Forest Fires Force Evacuation

30 year old Suryadi, with his two sons Abdul Rahman (5) and Abdul Hamid (1), describes the moment forest fires creeped up to his house:

“It began with the small fires from one concession on Pemuda Street, about hundred meters from here. I don’t know who owns the concession. But all I know is the fires were spreading rapidly. It was understandable because the weather was very hot and the wind blew very strongly. In one day, the fires were spreading everywhere, including to the farm behind my house so I decided to evacuate my family.”

“I don’t have any farm or concession,” Suryadi explained. But the fires made Suryadi unable to work. Suryadi and around 100 people in the village, earn a living by working for the palm oil concession. “I earned about 70 thousand rupiah per days. Now, I just wait for the concession to replant their farm.”

An abandoned house nearby the area destroyed by the recent forest fires, in Bengkalis, Riau Province, Indonesia.


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