Continuing my journey to the heart of the fire, I finally got as close as I could without scorching the lens. In fact, the heat was so intense I had to back off only after a few seconds. The long walk into the smoky paddy fields under twilight was rewarding. The sunset and flames combined for a rare, beautiful and surreal picture.
I spoke to the farmer involved and he told me he applied selective strip burning in which he burns one ‘keping’ or plot at a time. Unlike large scale land clearing, the fire is isolated, contained and extinguishes quite fast.
It is unfortunate that the rice replanting season coincides with the transboundary haze and the farmers get affected too. As I drove home in the night, I heard on the radio that the Department of Environment announced a ban on open burning.
Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f7.1, 1/160 sec.