Wildfire smoke forces closure of Indonesian airportBy AP News Sep 13, 2011 5:26PM UTC
JAMBI, Indonesia (AP) — Officials say smoke from fires set by slash-and-burn farmers has forced the closure of at least one airport in western Indonesia. Parts of neighboring Singapore and Malaysia have also been blanketed in a heavy white haze from the fires.
Airport official Abiyoso said Tuesday that the smoke was so thick that authorities had no choice but to shut down Sultan Taha airport on Sumatra island.
The dry-season haze is caused by fires set to clear land for agricultural and other development projects across Indonesia. They have plagued Southeast Asia almost every year since the 1990s.
They have stoked regional tensions and put attention on the Indonesian government’s inability to enforce its own laws.