New data on Riau fires generate important insights

A snapshot over Riau showing the areas burned by the June 2013 fires (red) mapped using LANDSAT 8 imagery acquired on 25 June 2013 (background) with NASA’s fire alerts (yellow dots) detected between 1 and 30 June 2013.

A snapshot over Riau showing the areas burned by the June 2013 fires (red) mapped using LANDSAT 8 imagery acquired on 25 June 2013 (background) with NASA’s fire alerts (yellow dots) detected between 1 and 30 June 2013.

CIFOR has made an analysis of new satellite imagery for the area in Riau Province, Sumatra, which appears to have been worst affected by recent fires causing haze problems over Sumatra, Singapore and Malaysia. Although several recent assessments have used NASA’s daily fire alerts to locate the fires, we have additionally used higher-resolution imagery from the recently launched Landsat 8 satellite to map fire scars. The Landsat images were recorded on 25 June 2013.

While our analysis is preliminary, it raises a number of interesting and important questions and insights about the location, context and causes of the fire incidents.

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