Thousands of Indonesians have taken to prayer in the hope for rain and ending the dry weather along with the smoke haze it brings. The unusually dry conditions in recent months, including Indonesia, has seen very little rain because of an El Nino weather pattern
"We're doing everything we can, now we pray to Allah for the rain," deputy provincial governor Edy Nasution, said.
Mosques in Malaysia have also been encouraged to hold prayers for rain, said the head of Malaysia's Islamic Development Department, Mohamad Nordin.
Fires have burnt through parts of Sumatra and Borneo island for more than a month. 5,062 fire "hot spots" had been detected in six Indonesian provinces and the government has sent 9,000 military, police and disaster agency personnel to fight the flames. Indonesian authorities are using 37 helicopters and 239 million litres of water bombs to attack the blazes while aircraft were seeding clouds in the hope of generating rain.
The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said small-scale farmers were being blamed for fires started by palm oil plantation companies.
"Actions by the central and local governments have not been strong enough against companies in industrial forests or palm plantations on peat lands. They always blame the community," said Muhammad Ferdhiyadi of the group's South Sumatra branch.