US$5.2 billion up in smoke due to Indonesia forest fires, says World Bank 

FOREST fires that raged across Indonesia dented Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to the tune of some US$5.2 billion, the World Bank said today, not including the health impacts from toxic haze that sent air quality plummeting.

The fires are an annual problem but this year was the worst since 2015 due to dry weather, with 942,000ha of land, mostly on Sumatra and Borneo islands, razed by the out-of-control blazes.