A small diplomatic riot occurred when Indonesia's minister of People's Welfare, Agung Laksono, said that Singapore "behaves like a child" as "this is not what the Indonesian nation wants, [but] it is because of nature." Singapore has urged Indonesia to conduct thorough investigation into companies and concession maps in order to find the source of this slash-and-burn farming.

The thick smoke, which may continue for weeks, means that Singapore's hospitality sector will face economic losses as tourists will ignore the city state for a while. Tourism is an important asset in terms of revenue for the country. Moreover, the Pollutants Standards Index rose to a record-high level of 401 on Friday, which is potentially life-threatening to ill and elderly people.

In Indonesian media, the topic of these forest fires has been somewhat overshadowed by the recent fuel subsidy issue.