Blazing forest fires turned Indonesian skies blood red over the weekend, after weeks of continuous burning.
Various parts of the country have been plagued by the fires, with thick blankets of smog covering Jambi province, making it difficult for people to see and even breathe.
Believed to be the result of routine agricultural fires spreading out of control, the forest fires have forced locals to cover their faces with masks, preventing smoke inhalation.
Footage from Jambi province shows the horrifying scenes locals are currently facing, with one person saying it’s been a couple of months since they last breathed fresh air.
As reported by BBC News, one resident, who had also captured pictures of the red sky said the haze continued to ‘hurt her eyes and throat’.
These fires are an annual occurrence in Indonesia, creating a smoky haze that blankets the entire South East Asian region. A meteorology expert told the BBC the red sky was caused by a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering.
As per The Rakyat Post, this phenomenon occurs when sunlight is scattered by molecules in the air, with the smog and dust particles from the blaze effectively filtering out shorter wavelengths of light such as blues and greens.
Astronomer Marufin Sudibyo said that sunlight was fragmented through the dense clouds of smoke particles, hence causing the glowing red appearance.
Rayleigh Scattering happens when sunlight is dispersed by smoke, dust or airborne particles that filter shorter wavelengths and release longer wavelengths that are in the orange or red spectrum, making the area appear to be dim and red.
The fires emerged on the islands of Sumatra Borneo last month and have worsened due to a combination of hot and dry weather meaning that the smoke produced is thicker and is drifting further.
This year’s haze levels have been some of the worst in years, with Indonesia’s national disaster agency stating approximately 328,724 hectares of land have already been burnt in the first eight months of the year.
The Indonesian government has already deployed over 10,000 firefighters to help keep the forest fires at bay but neighbouring governments and local residents are adamant that more needs to be done.