Review of Land Fires and Smoke Haze Situation for Second Fortnight of August 2018

1.1 Hotspot activities remained subdued in the northern ASEAN region due to rainy weather.

1.2 In the southern ASEAN region, there were significant hotspot activities observed in Riau, Sumatra and West Kalimantan during the third week of August 2018. On 16 August 2018, visible smoke haze from fire hotspots in Riau, central Sumatra spread across the Strait of Malacca, and brought hazy conditions to parts of Peninsular Malaysia. The return of shower activities over the following days helped to improve the haze situation in Riau Province.

1.3 The hotspot activities in Kalimantan persisted for a longer period than that in Riau, central Sumatra due to an extended period of dry weather conditions over the southern half of Borneo island. Hotspots with moderate to dense smoke haze were detected in West, Central and South Kalimantan. Smoke haze from the persistent hotspots in West Kalimantan reduced visibility in Pontianak, West Kalimantan to 2 km, and was blown by the prevailing winds to affect parts of western Sarawak. In the last week of August 2018, increased shower activities over Kalimantan helped to subdue the hotspot activities there and brought some relief to the haze situation in Kalimantan and Sarawak.

1.3 Figures below show the satellite images over the ASEAN region in the second fortnight of August 2018.

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Figure 1: Himawari-8 satellite image on 16 Aug 2018 shows moderate smoke haze from Riau, Sumatra spread across the Strait of Malacca.

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Figure 2: Himawari-8 satellite image on 18 Aug 2018 shows moderate to dense smoke haze from fire hotspots detected in several parts of Kalimantan.

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Figure 3: Himawari-8 satellite image on 21 Aug 2018 shows the return of shower activities that helped to alleviate the haze situation in Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia.

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Figure 4: Himawari-8 satellite image on 22 Aug 2018 shows fire hotspots and smoke haze in Kalimantan.

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Figure 5: Himawari-8 satellite image on 25 Aug 2018 shows widespread showers over Kalimantan which helped subdue hotspot activities there.