Published: Thursday 30 April 1998

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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