The orangutan population in the forests of Indonesian Borneo has dropped by about 30 percent to as few as 15,000, the state Antara news agency said. The main cause of recent declines was a rash of forest fires in 1997, which destroyed 1.3 million acres of forest, according to Nita Bustani, head of the Semboja Wanariset Orangutan Rehabilitation Project. As a result of the fires, many of the primates have begun to wander outside their habitat. The Wanariset project has launched a program to rescue the orangutans and return them to forested areas.