Haze Heroes: Borneo firefighters risk their lives to battle never-ending inferno


Dwi Nur Cahyo of the Bukit Tunggal District Fire Assault Squad.

These men don’t know how the field was set ablaze. They don’t even know who owns this field.

All they know is they must put out any fire that flare up in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.

These are the brave men of the Bukit Tunggal District Fire Assault Squad.

Every day, they risk their lives to put out fires none of them started. On Tuesday, October 27, they battled fire and won in this field in Marang village, which is located near an orangutan sanctuary.


This happened just hundreds of meters away from an orangutan sanctuary.

These heroes aren’t invincible. They are ordinary human beings who have families waiting for them at home. They too, can fall victim to the fire or develop long term medical conditions from inhaling the toxic smoke the fires produce.


Sarianto, 38, has a wife and three children.

Donny, 21, has a wife and a son.

Dwi Nur Cahyo, 23, is a husband and father to one son.

But the forest fires aren’t showing any signs of slowing down in Palangkaraya. Wherever there’s fire, the Bukit Tunggal District Fire Assault Squad will be there to put it out.


The devastating fire leaves behind nothing but ashes and toxic smoke.

Alexander Hotz and Hafidh Soeriawinata from Coconuts Media are on the ground in Kalimantan reporting from the epicenter of Southeast Asia’s deforestation fire and haze crisis. Stay tuned for more updates.

Photos: Alexander Hotz/Coconuts Media


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