An outbreak of haze caused the closure of many schools in Sumatra recently. The thick choking smoke was triggered by forest fires which are quite prevalent in the region. The authorities tried hard to isolate the fires and prevented it from spreading.
The level of haze varied in different areas. As the thickness was considered dangerous in Bengkalis's capital Duri, schools had to be closed.
In 1997, smoke persisted in the area for weeks and warnings were sounded for the young and elderly to stay indoors. Tourism was also badly hit then.
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