It’s been the year of forest fires—in July, fires raging through Russia brought Moscow to a standstill and threatened to disperse radioactive particles from land affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster; in August, a state of national emergency was declared in Bolivia, where fires destroyed 1.5 million ha of forest land; now, smoke from forest fires in Sumatra has blanketed Singapore, taking pollution to dangerously high levels. In all these cases, the fires have affected neighbouring countries as well. That is unlikely to change—global warming is only going to make things worse. Looks like it’s time to create an international firefighting mechanism.
Photos: Vivek Prakash/Reuters