JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono apologized Monday to Singapore and Malaysia for record-setting pollution caused by forest fires in his country.

"For what is happening, as the president, I apologize to our brothers in Singapore and Malaysia," Yudhoyono said. He asked for their understanding and said Indonesia is working hard to fight the fires, which are often set by farmers to clear fields.

Jakarta dispatched planes and helicopters last week to battle the blazes in peat swamp forests as well as plantations in Riau province on Sumatra island, where the smoke easily drifts across the sea to the two neighboring countries.

Speaking at a news conference after a Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue, Yudhoyono said he has ordered an investigation of the fires.

"There should be a thorough investigation. In my analysis, there are both natural and human factors," he said, adding that the wind direction has caused the smoke to concentrate in Singapore and Malaysia.

Malaysian declared a state of emergency on Sunday in a district where the haze triggered one of the country's worst pollution levels, while Singapore has urged people to remain indoors due to "hazardous" levels of pollution.

In Indonesia, media reports said two commercial flights to Pekanbaru, Riau's provincial capital, were diverted Monday to Kuala Lumpur and North Sumatra's capital, Medan, while another had to fly back to Singapore.

In Dumai in Riau, dozens of houses were burned down by forest fires, and a leopard with leg injuries fled from a forest into a village. Conservationists assisted by villagers took seven hours to capture the animal, which refused to return to the forest. It was being cared for at the state conservation office.

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency said aircraft and firefighters were able to extinguish at least 69 of the 265 fires burning across Riau on Monday.

Last week, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono slammed critical comments by Singaporean officials about the haze, saying they should have been conveyed through diplomatic channels instead of publicly.

"Singapore should not act like children, making all that noise," he said.

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  • The Singapore skyline is nearly completely covered in smoke haze on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • People wearing face masks walk on the street in Singapore on June 21, 2013. Singapore's smog index hit the critical 400 level on June 21, making it potentially life-threatening to the ill and elderly people, according to a government monitoring site. AFP PHOTO/Roslan Rahman

  • A crow flies the setting sun in Singapore on June 21, 2013. Severe smog over Singapore caused by forest fires in Indonesia could hurt the city-state's economy if it persists for weeks, economists said on June 21, as the pollution index hit new record levels. AFP PHOTO/Roslan Rahman

  • A general view shows the Singapore river as the haze index dropped to 143 PSI at 1700 hours local time in Singapore on June 21, 2013. The severe smog over Singapore caused by forest fires in Indonesia could hurt the city-state's economy if it persists for weeks, economists said on June 21 as the pollution index hit new record levels. AFP PHOTO / Roslan Rahman

  • People wearing face masks walk on the street in Singapore on June 21, 2013. Singapore's smog index hit the critical 400 level on June 21, making it potentially life-threatening to the ill and elderly people, according to a government monitoring site. AFP PHOTO/Roslan Rahman

  • The Singapore skyline is completely covered in smoke haze on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • Marina Bay Sands hotel is completely covered in smoke haze as tourists try to take pictures on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • A man crosses an overpass amongst heavy smoke haze in Chinatown on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • Tourists walk to towards the haze covered Super Trees at Gardens By the Bay on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • The Singapore ArtScience Museum and Marina Bay Sands Hotel are seen covered by thick smoke haze on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • The Merlion is the only visible landmark on the bay as the Singapore skyline is completely covered in smoke haze on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • A boat passes in front of the haze covered Singapore skyline on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • Construction workers hang on the outside of a building covered in smoke haze on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • The Merlion stands as the only visible part of the Singapore Skyline as it is shrouded in thick smoke haze on June 21, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 400 at 11am. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • A general view of the causeway from Singapore to Johor Bahru (background) is obscured by haze on June 21, 2013. Singapore's smog index hit the critical 400 level on June 21, making it potentially life-threatening to the ill and elderly people, according to a government monitoring site. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN

  • A SMRT train travels through the haze in Singapore on June 21, 2013. Singapore's smog index hit the critical 400 level on June 21, making it potentially life-threatening to the ill and elderly people, according to a government monitoring site. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN

  • This photo taken on June 20, 2013 shows a pregnant woman with a face mask walking on the street in Singapore. Singapore's smog index hit the critical 400 level on June 21, making it potentially life-threatening to the ill and elderly people, according to a government monitoring site. AFP PHOTO/Roslan Rahman

  • SINGAPORE - JUNE 20: Friends mingle at the Marina Bay Waterfront as the city skyline is filled with smog on June 20, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 371 at 1pm. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

  • SINGAPORE - JUNE 20: A couple takes a pre-wedding photographs as the city skyline is filled with smog at the Marina Bay Waterfront on June 20, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 371 at 1pm. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

  • SINGAPORE - JUNE 20: A man takes photographs of the city skyline on June 20, 2013 in Singapore. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to the highest level on record reaching 371 at 1pm. The haze is created by deliberate slash-and-burn forest fires started by companies in neighbouring Sumatra. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)