Pulp & Paper industry is among the drivers of peat and forest fires in Sumatra.According Eyes on the Forest, pulpwood plantation got most hotspots detected and published on an online map.  1797 hotspots are linked to the paper industry, with 930 in APRIL concessions, and 867 in concessions related to APP. It is Further 1361 hotspots were detected in palm oil concessions, and 311 protected areas. The remaining 3469 hotspot are located in areas beyond those uses including out of concession areas, and selective logging concessions.

At least 6772 fires hotspots were detected accumulatively in Riau Province in period of 1-23 June 2013, based on MODIS Fires satellite monitoring that analyzed by Eyes on the Forest this week. Eyes on the Forest said that the hotspots number could not represent that the companies were involved in setting fires, but it needed further groundtruthing and investigation to find out perpetrators of fires detected in the areas.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered the police and law enforcers to investigate the forest and land fires which cost millions of people in Riau, and other parts in Sumatra, as well as neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.

Many business groups and corporate denied their involvement in setting fires and causing regional haze as they claimed they conducted “zero burning policy.” “However, we need thorough investigation and groundtruthing to find out real perpetrators and masterminds, so the companies’ claim is not just zero commitment,” said Rico Kurniawan, director executive of WALHI Riau chapter.