Interactive web map makes facts behind Sumatra fires transparent

Unlike major Sumatra fires in 1982-1983, 1997-1998 and 2006, current fires appear to be non-forest related. CIFOR/Rini Sulaiman

Unlike major Sumatra fires in 1982-1983, 1997-1998 and 2006, current fires appear to be non-forest related. CIFOR/Rini Sulaiman

A new online mapping tool designed to reveal the impact of forest fires burning throughout the Indonesian province of Riau in Sumatra allows users to explore and validate preliminary data.

The interactive fire risk tool, developed by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) shows the location of NASA’s fire alerts in June, burned areas (brown fire scars) mapped by CIFOR using high-resolution views from the Landsat 8 satellite, and compelling before-and-after fire satellite views of the Riau region, the area worst affected by fires.

“So many claims about the Sumatra fires are swirling in the popular media – this tool gives people the capacity to check for themselves,” said Agus Salim, who developed the web-based application.

Read more