Satellite hotspot is a useful tool used to identify fire occurrence (hotspots) through space-borne remote sensing. The data has shown that fire is an annual occurrence in the Southeast Asia region. Fire hotspot is most prominent in Indochina, comprising Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam during the boreal winter (Jan – Mar); while the Maritime Continent comprising Malaysia and Indonesia records higher fire occurrence between the months of August to October.
The burning activities are strongly correlated to the dry and hot weather anomalies involving El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). 2015 is an exemplary extreme ENSO year where more than 50,000 hotspots were identified in September, while 2019 was affected by the positive IOD over the Maritime Continent.