As the UK Summer fades into Autumn, in Indonesia, the dry season is still in full swing. Dry conditions have created an environment that enables fires to spread quickly across the land, and as reported extensively in the media, recent fires across South East Asia have contributed to a blanket of haze that currently hovers over much of the subcontinent.
These fires are often the result of traditional farming methods. Towards the end of a dry season, farmers in this part of the world will routinely use a slash and burn agricultural technique to clear their land and provide better conditions for crop regeneration. Local communities may also use this method in order to create clearings so that they can hunt for deer or wild boar, however in particularly dry years, these fires can burn out of control for prolonged periods of time and contribute to the levels of haze that have been reported in recent weeks.
The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in Indonesian Borneo is an area of forest protected by Orangutan Foundation, but it’s western region has been subject to fires during this dry spell which can creep into the reserve. Our field teams and guard post staff have worked with locals officials on occasion into the night to battle the flames and stop the spreading. They continue to be on high alert for any potential fires before the much-needed rains come, but we are indebted to their efforts in protecting this vital wildlife refuge.
Fortunately this reserve and the significant orangutan population in it’s interior are under protection from skilled government and Orangutan Foundation staff who are trained and equipped to prevent outbreaks of fire, however their operations would not be possible without ongoing support. To become a Guardian of the Lamandau and help protect this ecologically rich environment all year round, please support our work by exploring the link below.