“Environmental experts predict that the blanket of haze in South East Asia is expected to continue until next year as Indonesia is unable to put out the raging forest fires on time.”
If the experts are right about this, it is indeed very alarming news for countries already reeling from the haze. The debilitating cost and damage to health, economy and the environment are well known in affected countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and even Indonesia itself. While a long term solution, including a political solution, is long overdue, immediate action must be taken to significantly limit the scourge of the advancing smoke and flame, if not to halt it completely, MUST be taken.
I have this suggestion to offer towards this end:
Indonesia and all participating countries should also focus on creating FIRE BREAKS around the hot spots by digging DEEP enough into the bush and the underlying peat-land to in effect hold the advancing fire at bay. In order to determine just how far down the peat-land to dig, explosive charges can be used to expose just how deep down the peat is the fire raging. It may be at different depths at different places but surely some measure of the ‘burning’ problem may be obtained in this manner.
Based on such assessments, a combined army of military and civil engineers from the participating countries and their earth digging and moving heavy plant equipment, can be deployed to create the fire breaks which can be as wide as 25 to 50 metres or even more, to systematically contain the fires/hot spots.
IMO, we need to urgently augment the current ground level and aerial water dousing with some such ‘strategy’ as the one outlined above, to stop the haze menace from turning catastrophic.