Burning Issue

Following harvesting of rice, the paddy stalks are burned by farmers to clear the land for next cultivation. This traditional method is also practised in Thailand, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, USA and many other rice-growing countries.

The open burning has become controversial, especially in South East Asia, where it coincides with massive forest and plantation burning that result in seasonal transboundary haze.

At the epicenter of the burning rice fields in the Sekinchan area, the landscape reminded me of the burning oil fields in Kuwait during the Gulf War. On the ground, it wasn’t as dramatic until the sun got lower on the horizon. Earlier in the day, I spotted smoke plumes rising from different directions but the sky remained blue.

The big blockish building on the horizon is a ‘bird hotel’. Known as swiftlet ranching, the bird nests are collected and exported as a delicacy.

Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f11, 1/2000 sec.

Burning Issue

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