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As Indonesia’s dry season looms, a new tool can predict daily forest fire risk

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Above: Smoke from fire in Borneo, Indonesia.

This blog post was originally published on the World Resources Institute’s blog, Insights.

This summer, visitors to U.S. national parks and forests will be greeted by Smokey the Bear, the Forest Service’s beloved mascot, delivering a warning about the day’s fire danger. Those warnings are important — signs point to another record fire year for the country. But this summer, many of the world’s most damaging fires may actually occur halfway around the world in the forests and peatlands of Indonesia.

Last year, Indonesia’s forest and land fires emitted more than the entire U.S. economy on a daily basis for half the summer. Toxic smoke and haze afflicted hundreds of thousands, disrupting the economy, triggering respiratory problems and even causing deaths. Could this crisis be averted if Indonesia had its own version of Smokey the Bear’s daily fire danger warnings?

Smokey the Bear fire danger sign in Paradise Valley, Nevada. (© Famartin/Wikimedia Commons, Courtesy of Global Forest Watch)

The new Fire Risk Map on Global Forest…

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