Review of Land Fires and Smoke Haze Situation for First Fortnight of March 2019

1.1 Dry conditions persisted over the northern ASEAN region, and widespread smoke haze continued to shroud many parts of the Mekong sub-region. The haze situation was on occasions exacerbated by confluence of prevailing winds with dense smoke haze from persistent hotspot activities extending over eastern Myanmar, northern and northeastern Thailand, and northern Lao PDR. Some of the smoke haze were also blown to northern Viet Nam by the southwesterly winds.

1.2 In the southern ASEAN region, dry weather over northern and central Sumatra, and Peninsular Malaysia led to the emergence of isolated but persistent hotspots with localised smoke plumes in Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia and Riau, Sumatra in the latter part of the fortnight.

Figure 1: Himawari-8 satellite image on 14 March 2019 shows widespread smoke haze over the Mekong sub-region.

Figure 2: Himawari-8 satellite image on 15 March 2019 shows isolated hotspots with smoke plumes in Peninsular Malaysia and central Sumatra.