Monday, October 12, 2015

Indonesian wildfires

I first heard about wildfires in Indonesia last week when I came across an article in International Business Times (October 8th) reporting on wildland fires burning forests and peatland in Indonesia. According to the IBT article — based on drone footage and a press release from Greenpeace — at least 135,000 Indonesians are having respiratory problems from these smokey wildfires. I filed the article away, and decided to try to keep my eyes open for additional reports on these wildfires in Indonesia.

I came across a second article today dated on October 1st from the Jakarta Post reporting on these smokey wildfires with some additional information about the smoke and dry conditions in Indonesia and environs. It doesn't take long to read, and I hope that you take a minute or two to read the article.

Some friends of mine provided more information about these smokey wildfires in Indonesia commenting that New South Wales (NSW) in Australia is planning to loan  Coulson’s T-132 — whom NSW refers to as "Thor" — to Indonesia to help them fight these wildfires. I was curious and wanted to find some more specific information about Thor’s deployment so I found a short press release on the NSW website. According to this press release from the NSW Rural Fire Service NSW is sending the Lockheed C-130 Airtanker (Coulson’s T-132) to Indonesia early this week on a five day deployment. They are also sending a team of firefighters and other personnel to Indonesia.

Thanks to Bill Gabbert’s good reporting on Fire Aviation on October 10th, (link to article) I found more information on this deployment. Gabbert has more information on the deployment from Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service that you will want to read.

I am thankful for the spirit of international cooperation exemplified by the State of New South Wales in Australia helping Indonesia fight these wildfires. I get the impression that the smoke from the wildfires in Indonesia is pretty bad. Thanks New South Wales and anyone else who is helping Indonesia battle these very smokey wildfires.

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