The Amazon is not the only rainforest destroyed by fire. A series of forest fires in Indonesia are causing much of Southeast Asia to be covered by dense smoke.
About 3,300 square kilometers of forests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra caught fire. Jakarta had to deploy more than 9,000 people and 52 aircraft to cope, according to the Economist.
Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia are trying to extinguish the fire and clear the haze by creating clouds. However, the dry weather made controlling the fire extremely difficult.
Haze has been blamed for causing more than 200,000 respiratory infections and closing more than 1,500 schools in Malaysia. The smoke was so thick that a series of flights had to be canceled. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he was praying for rain.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry and Environment said most of the fires were caused by people. According to information from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, 80% of the fires stem from people burning forests to make palm oil plantations.
This is illegal behavior, but local officials who manage this issue are easily bribed. Without burning forests, people have to cut down trees and dispose of rubbish, leading to high costs.
The fire is especially difficult to extinguish if it occurs in peat forests. These are swamp forests covered with a peat of non-biodegradable vegetation entirely created.
When peat is dry enough to catch fire, the fire can continue to smolder underground for a long time. Peat forests also have 10 times more carbon reserves than other types of forests, making the environment seriously polluted if a fire occurs.
Since taking office in 2014, President Widodo has sought to cope with the fires. In 2017, the country’s Ministry of Forestry put forward a master plan to protect peat forests and prevent fires by regulating land ownership and prosecuting people who caused fires.
After the 2015 fire, police arrested 660 people. So far, the government has arrested 200 people and is investigating about 370 companies involved in the current fire.
Where is the world’s smallest horse currently living, how tall?
Guinness World Records recently recorded the world’s shortest horse, with a height from hooves to shoulder blades only 56.7cm.
The world’s smallest horse, named Bombel, lives on the KasKada farm in Łódź, Poland.
The owners are the couple Patryk and Katarzyna Zielińska. The two men insisted, despite its small stature, the horse had “a strong character and a broad heart”.
Zielińskas first saw Bombel in 2014, when it was two months old.
Katarzyna explained: “When the horse grew up, we found it began to have an abnormality. We decided to submit an application to the Guinness World Record to set a record.”
Once a month, people take the world’s smallest horse to hospitals to meet and play with children treated there. The horse becomes an emotional support agent for sick children. Katarzyna says that children are happy when playing with special little horses.
It is known that the world’s smallest horse previously belonged to Thumbelina, but it passed away in 2018. The reddish brown horse lost its life in St Louis, Missouri, USA with a height of only 44.5cm.
Meanwhile, the tallest horse in the world named Big Jake, 9, lives on a farm in Wisconsin, USA. Height from hooves to its shoulder blades to 210.19cm, nearly 4 times higher than Bombel – the world’s shortest horse alive at the present time.