Thousands of people in coastal towns in Indonesia have been threatened by the fires raging through rainforest in Boneo. Thick smoke from the blaze has already engulfed settlements along a 125 kilometres (km) coastal road between the towns of Samarinda and Balikpapan in East Kalimantan province. Fires were going out of control around Bukit Suharta, a hill named after the country's president, some 40 km from Balikpapan. Nearly 80,000 hectares of forest have already been destroyed in the province since January 1998.
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