forest fires - updates

Rappler's latest stories on forest fires


Brazilian Amazon sees worst June in 13 years for forest fires

Jul 02, 2020 - 1:25 PM

June marks the start of the dry period and there were 2,248 recorded fires, leaving analysts expecting a worse year for the rainforest than the devastating 2019

Handout aerial picture released by Greenpeace showing smoke billowing from fires in the forest in the Amazon biome in the municipality of Altamira, Para State, Brazil, on August 23, 2019. - Hundreds of new fires are raging in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, official data showed on August 24, 2019, amid growing international pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro to put out the worst blazes in years. The fires in the world's largest rainforest have triggered a global outcry and are dominating the G7 meeting in Biarritz in southern France. (Photo by Victor MORIYAMA / GREENPEACE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GREENPEACE / VICTOR MORIYAMA" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

19 killed in massive China forest fire

Mar 31, 2020 - 1:23 PM

Eighteen firefighters and one forestry guide die fighting a huge forest fire in southwestern China

FOREST FIRE. A firefighter battles a forest blaze in Xichang in China's southwestern Sichuan province early on March 31, 2020. Photo by AFP

Mt Pulag to be closed due to forest fire threat

Feb 24, 2020 - 6:34 PM

The announcement is triggered more by the forest fires that hit the town of Kabayan in Benguet instead of the threat of the novel coronavirus

FOREST FIRES. Fire at Sitio Tinuping. Photo courtesy of Kabayan, Benguet police

IN PHOTOS: Forest fires hit parts of Baguio and Benguet

Feb 22, 2020 - 10:52 PM

Lack of rains and easterly winds fan these fires, which hit mostly uninhabited areas

Fire in Tublay. Photo courtesy if BFP Tublay

Indonesia hit with $5.2 billion in forest fire losses – World Bank

Dec 12, 2019 - 8:11 AM

The World Bank's cost estimate does not include longer-term effects of repeated exposure to haze, such acute respiratory illnesses, or lost school time after students and teachers were advised to stay home

FUTILITY. A young boy tries to extinguish a fire at a peatland area near their neighborhood in Pekanbaru, Riau province, Indonesia on October 4, 2019. Photo by Wahyudi/AFP

Indonesian forest fires putting 10 million children at risk – United Nations

Sep 24, 2019 - 4:06 PM

Almost 10 million people under 18 live in the areas worst affected by fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island and the country's part of Borneo island, UNICEF says

AIR POLLUTION PROBLEMS. A child wears a facemask as a thick haze blankets the sky over Banda Aceh on September 24, 2019, caused when Indonesian farmers use illegal slash-and-burn techniques to clear land for agriculture, spewing toxic haze across Southeast Asia. Photo by Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP

IN PHOTOS: Indonesia forest fire haze reaches the Philippines

Sep 21, 2019 - 10:37 PM

Haze from the forest fires raging in Indonesia drifts across central and southern Philippines

HAZE.  Haze seen from the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City. Photo by Ryan Macasero/Rappler

Malaysia, Indonesia shut thousands of schools over forest fires haze

Sep 19, 2019 - 2:59 PM

The school closures affect at least 1.7 million students in Malaysia. It is not clear how many pupils were forced to stay home in neighboring Indonesia.

MALAYSIA HAZE. The Kuala Lumpur skyline, including the Petronas Twin Towers (C), is seen shrouded in haze on September 11, 2019. File photo by Mohd Rasfan/AFP

Indonesia's toxic haze affecting Borneo's orangutans – rescuers

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:08 AM

'The thick smoke does not only endanger the health of our staff... but also it affects the 355 orangutans we currently care for,' says the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, referring to just once center in Kalimantan

AFFECTED. File photo of a park employee holding an orangutan as it is shown to the public after several months in quarantine at Bali Safari Marine Park in Gianyar regency on August 19, 2019. Photo by Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

Indonesia 'doing everything' to put out forest fires – Jokowi

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:35 AM

During a visit to Riau province in central Sumatra, President Joko Widodo says nearly 6,000 troops have been sent to hot spots to help put out fires

FOREST FIRES. Motorists make their way along a street in Kampar, Riau on September 17, 2019 which is covered in thick haze. Photo by Wahyudi/AFP

Large forest fire blazing near Athens

Sep 15, 2019 - 7:45 PM

The Greek fire department says it had been called to nearly 80 fires over the past 24 hours

Indonesia forest fires rage, stoking global warming fears

Sep 12, 2019 - 4:07 PM

Indonesia's forest fires are an annual problem but have been worsened this year by particularly dry weather, and in recent days sent toxic smog floating over Malaysia

A firefighter extinguishes a fire in a forest at Rambutan village, in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra province, on September 11 , 2019. Malaysia has stepped up pressure on neighbouring Indonesia to tackle huge blazes tearing through its rainforests and smothering Southeast Asia in smog, as fires typically started to clear land for crops send diplomatic tensions soaring. ABDUL QODIR / AFP

Malaysia piles pressure on Indonesia over smog-belching fires

Sep 12, 2019 - 8:49 AM

An official in Sarawak state on Borneo – where air quality dropped to very unhealthy levels this week – demands Indonesia to send face masks and medical supplies to Malaysia for those affected by the pollution

HAZE. The Kuala Lumpur skyline, including the Petronas Twin Towers (centger), is seen shrouded in haze on September 11, 2019. Photo by Mohd Rasfan/AFP

Hundreds of schools shut as forest fire haze blankets Southeast Asia

Sep 10, 2019 - 5:40 PM

Massive jungle areas in Sumatra and Borneo island are ablaze as thousands of personnel battle to quell the fires, frequently started to clear land for crop plantations

SENT HOME. Indonesian schoolgirls wear facemasks as they are sent home after schools were ordered closed in Pekanbaru, Riau on September 10, 2019. Photo by Wahyudi/AFP

U.N., France raise concern over Amazon wildfires 'crisis'

Aug 23, 2019 - 1:59 PM

French president Emmanuel Macron tweets: 'Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning'

CHARRED. File photo of the result of practice of slash-and-burn in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Photo by guentermanaus/

Brazil's Bolsonaro blames Amazon fires on NGOs as Twitter erupts

Aug 22, 2019 - 7:27 AM

'No matter how successful we are, if our Earth dies, we all die,' says one Twitter post

Brazil's right-wing presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), Jair Bolsonaro votes during runoff elections, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 28, 2018. (Photo by RICARDO MORAES / POOL / AFP)

Forest fires in Brazil surge as deforestation accelerates

Aug 21, 2019 - 6:49 PM

Fires have been concentrated in states occupying the Amazon. Thick smoke has blanketed several cities in recent days and even caused a commercial flight to be diverted.

FOREST FIRES. In this image, taken by NOAA-20, the smoke from the fires in the Amazon rainforest can be clearly seen. File photo from NOAA

Seoul declares national disaster as winds fan giant forest fire

Apr 05, 2019 - 2:54 PM

Fanned by strong winds it quickly spread through the mountainous area, incinerating 400 homes and 500 hectares of land, says the government

Firefighters try to put out a fire from smouldering debris after a forest fire hit the area in Donghae on April 5, 2019. - A giant forest fire swept across swathes of South Korea on April 5, as authorities declared a rare national emergency, deploying 900 fire engines and tens of thousands of personnel to bring it under control. (Photo by YONHAP / YONHAP / AFP) / - South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT NO ARCHIVES RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIPTION USE

5 killed in huge Benguet forest fire

Feb 20, 2019 - 9:50 PM

(UPDATED) The dead include 4 Philex Mines foresters and one resident

California wildfire toll matches deadliest ever with 29 victims

Nov 12, 2018 - 11:38 AM

The 'Camp Fire' is the largest and most destructive of several infernos that have sent 250,000 people fleeing their homes across California, razing 6,400 homes in the town of Paradise and effectively wiping it off the map

FIRE DEATHS. Yuba County Sheriff officers carry a body away from a burned residence in Paradise, California, on November 10, 2018. Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP

French soldiers arrive in Sweden to fight wildfires

Jul 23, 2018 - 11:40 AM

Firefighters are battling around 50 wildfires after an unprecedented drought in the region and soaring temperatures, which have reached the highest in a century

FIRE FIGHTERS. Stephane Nissle and the rest of the French civil protection service arrive at Arlanda airport, north of Stockholm on July 23, 2018. Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Mt Pulag fire: Hikers face imprisonment, P18-M fine

Feb 14, 2018 - 6:13 PM

The hikers from Cebu will be charged for violating the Forest Code of the Philippines, says the DENR

 TORCHED. Mount Pulag is closed off from hikers for 6 months after a grassland fire. Bureau of Fire Protection photo

DENR prepares charges vs hikers responsible for Mount Pulag fire

Jan 24, 2018 - 3:55 PM

'The DENR recognizes the impact the fire had on the national park and we will pursue all legal avenues to bring those responsible to account,' says Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu

The week in photos: August 5-11, 2017

Aug 12, 2017 - 7:17 AM

This week s selection of photo highlights here and around the world

SAVING THE ELEPHANTS. An Indian volunteer for animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal poses for a photograph wearing a costume depicting an elephant during a protest in New Delhi on August 9, 2017. Photo by Money Sharma/AFP

Hundreds flee as fire rages in southern France

Aug 10, 2017 - 5:34 PM

The blaze is contained after ravaging 500 hectares 1 250 acres of pine forest and bush 40 kilometers 25 miles southwest of Montpellier the fire service says


The week in photos: July 29-August 4, 2017

Aug 05, 2017 - 4:00 PM

This week s selection of photo highlights here and around the world

ERUPTION. Hot lava flows down the Mount Sinabung volcano in the night in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 30, 2017. Photo by Tibta Pangin/AFP

The week in photos: July 22-28, 2017

Jul 29, 2017 - 12:57 PM

This week s selection of photo highlights here and around the world

SWIM COMPETITION. China's Zhang Yufei in the women's 200m butterfly semifinals at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest on July 26, 2017. Photo by Martin Bureau/AFP

The week in photos: June 17-23, 2017

Jun 24, 2017 - 7:18 AM

This week s selection of photo highlights here and around the world

Afghan refugee women wait to scan their eyes at the UNHCR registration center in Peshawar, Pakistan on June 19, 2017 ahead of the World Refugee Day. Photo by Abdul Majeed/AFP

Main forest fires in Portugal under control

Jun 22, 2017 - 5:36 PM

Civil protection official Carlos Tavares says the fire in Gois affected 20 000 hectares The firefighting effort involves nearly 2 400 firemen and water bombing planes

Questions over fire response as Portugal battles blaze

Jun 20, 2017 - 8:19 PM

As water bombing planes make regular passes over the flames there were growing questions as to whether the response to the disaster could have been better

A wildfire is reflected in a stream at Penela, Coimbra, central Portugal, on June 18, 2017.  A wildfire in central Portugal killed at least 25 people and injured 16 others, most of them burning to death in their cars, the government said on June 18, 2017. AFP PHOTO / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, June 19, 2017

Jun 19, 2017 - 10:20 AM

Hello Here are the stories you shouldn t miss this Monday

Raging Portugal forest fires kill dozens

Jun 18, 2017 - 11:42 PM

4th UPDATE Many of the fatalities were burnt to death in their cars the government says

A wildfire is reflected in a stream at Penela, Coimbra, central Portugal, on June 18, 2017.  A wildfire in central Portugal killed at least 25 people and injured 16 others, most of them burning to death in their cars, the government said on June 18, 2017. Several hundred firefighters and 160 vehicles were dispatched late on June 17 to tackle the blaze, which broke out in the afternoon in the municipality of Pedrogao Grande before spreading fast across several fronts. / AFP PHOTO / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA

Thousands return home after fleeing Chile forest fire

Mar 14, 2017 - 7:51 AM

The cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar had been put on alert as the fire tore through 230 hectares 570 acres in just a few hours amid strong winds and soaring temperatures

IN FLAMES. Picture released on March 12, 2017 by Aton Chile shows firefighters working to put out a forest fire in Valparaiso. Raul Zamora / Aton Chile / Handout / AFP

Chile farmers fight forest fire 'catastrophe'

Jan 25, 2017 - 8:37 AM

Flames have destroyed 155 000 hectares 600 square miles of land in the center of the country and at least 4 000 people have been evacuated

Picture taken during a forest fire in Litueche, 150 km south of Santiago, on January 24, 2017. Martin Bernetti/AFP

Indonesia hits back at Singapore in latest haze row

Jun 14, 2016 - 12:48 PM

If Singapore could easily try Indonesian citizens it could be a violation of Indonesia s sovereignty

EPICENTER. In Palangkaraya, the smoke from forest fires are a thick, acrid yellow. Photo from EPA

Indonesia pushes for ban on palm oil operations after forest fires

May 01, 2016 - 1:30 PM

Downside? The ban could affect the economy

TOP PRODUCER. An aerial view shows palm oil plantations in the Indragiri Hulu regency, Riau province, Indonesia. File photo by EPA

Mt Apo still on fire in Davao responder's video

Mar 31, 2016 - 7:43 PM

Responders need bolos machetes shovels pikes gloves chainsaws and food

Firefighters battle Mt Apo fire

Mar 27, 2016 - 1:12 AM

UPDATED Accounts say the fire started at 1 pm on Black Saturday along the blueberry area near the Mt Apo summit the highest peak in the country and a major tourist spot

FIRE. Fire on the Mt Apo summit is reported on Black Saturday. Its cause is still undetermined. Photo by Philip Dizon

Orangutans burnt to death in Indonesia

Mar 03, 2016 - 3:40 PM

The charred bodies of the endangered Bornean orangutans believed to be a mother and her two daughters were discovered among fire blackened remains of trees their limbs outstretched and grimaces of pain on their faces

ENDANGERED. Orangutans in Indonesia lose their habitats and their lives to forest fires. File photo by EPA/BARBARA WALTON

Australia bushfires raze ancient World Heritage-listed forests

Jan 30, 2016 - 11:17 AM

One of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world the Tasmanian Wilderness is part of the World Heritage list because of its significant natural and cultural values

LOST FOREVER? World Heritage-listed forests that trace their origins back to the supercontinent Gondwana have been burnt by Australian bushfires raging for more than two weeks, with conservationists increasingly fearful they could be lost forever. Photo by Warren Frey/Tasmania Fire Service/AFP

Forest fire in Lanao del Sur feared volcano-related

Jan 22, 2016 - 3:04 PM

The site of the fire has an active volcano Mount Makaturing

FOREST FIRE. Smoke rises from a orest fire between Mount Latukan and Mount Piagayungan in barangay Sandab, Butig, Lanao del Sur on January 22, 2016. Photo courtesy of the Lanao del Sur Provincial Information Office

Indonesia punishes firms over deadly forest fires

Dec 22, 2015 - 5:17 PM

It is the first time the government has revoked company licences over forest fires an annual occurrence caused by slash and burn land clearance

CHOKING HAZE. Commuters travel along a road as thick haze blankets Pekanbaru. AFP PHOTO / FORZA ALFACHROZIE

Haze price tag, $16B: Fires cost Indonesia twice the tsunami bill

Dec 15, 2015 - 5:52 PM

Indonesia s economy took a 16 billion hit this year from forest fires that cloaked Southeast Asia in haze more than double the sum spent on rebuilding Aceh after the 2004 tsunami the World Bank said

FOREST FIRES. The Indonesian economy took a big hit from the fires that razed Indonesia. File photo by EPA

Illegally smuggled orangutans returned to Indonesia

Nov 12, 2015 - 4:35 PM

Orangutans are native to the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra but they are often illegally smuggled throughout Southeast Asia either for private zoos or as pets

Indonesia orangutans attacked by villagers after fleeing forest fires

Nov 10, 2015 - 8:17 PM

Many apes have recently fled their forest homes which have been engulfed by fires set to clear land and headed to villages to find food but locals view them as pests and there has been an increase in human animal conflict

ANALYSIS: Jokowi should use haze crisis to finally trigger reform in Indonesia

Oct 30, 2015 - 11:48 AM

Indonesia’s public health crisis and ecological calamity presents Jokowi with an opportunity to finally enact reforms in the forest and plantation sectors that his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono failed to implement

JOKOWI'S CHANCE. President Joko Widodo must use the forest fires as a trigger for reform. Photo by EPA

The wRap Indonesia: Haze death toll doubles, Indonesia rises in ease of doing business rankings

Oct 29, 2015 - 6:00 AM

Other stories include desperate residents fighting forest fires themselves and the Washington Post mistaking the Indonesian defense minister for President Joko Widodo

HAZE VICTIM. Kristian in Palangkaraya is one of many people suffering from the haze. Photo by Febriana Firdaus/Rappler

Death toll from haze nearly doubles

Oct 28, 2015 - 2:07 PM

The number of dead climbs from 10 to 19

HAZE VICTIM. Kristian in Palangkaraya is one of many people suffering from the haze. Photo by Febriana Firdaus/Rappler

Can't wait for gov't: Desperate residents fight forest fires on their own

Oct 28, 2015 - 1:06 PM

Communities worst exposed to the toxic smog are becoming increasingly frustrated at authorities in Jakarta insisting not enough is being done to aid their plight

FIGHTING FIRE. College students fight fires themselves. Photo by Febriana Firdaus/Rappler

Haze in parts of the Philippines: 9 ways to stay healthy

Oct 27, 2015 - 6:15 PM

Children the elderly and people with chronic respiratory problems are those particularly at risk of health problems due to exposure to haze