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SOUTHEASTASIA-HAZE/FIREFIGHTERS
RTX73QJ4
September 20, 2019
From soon after sunrise, a group of volunteers gathers every day on Indonesia's portion of Borneo island...
PALANGKA RAYA, Indonesia
The Wider Image: Indonesia's firefighters on frontline of Borneo's forest blazes
From soon after sunrise, a group of volunteers gathers every day on Indonesia's portion of Borneo island to throw themselves into the desperate fight against the worst forest fires in years. But the firefighters in the once verdant district of Pulang Pisau often have only makeshift equipment, with little more than face masks to protect against choking smoke from the blazes. "We can't afford to provide fireproof suits for the volunteers, so they wear what they own, but the important thing is to ensure their safety," said Mulyadi, a military officer overseeing the effort. The volunteers, often clad in sandals or trainers, line up in military fashion alongside others from the army, police, the disaster mitigation agency and non-government bodies, such as Greenpeace, for a briefing on the day's tasks. The fires have sent a choking smog across Borneo and Indonesia's island of Sumatra, as well as the neighbouring nations of Malaysia and Singapore, carried by shifting winds. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan SEARCH "KURNIAWAN RAYA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
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