Palembang, South Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Teams from foreign countries began operations to extinguish the fires in South Sumatra.

"Today, teams from Singapore and Malaysia along with South Sumatras Forest and Land Fires Prevention Task Force have begun aerial and land operations to extinguish the fires in Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin District," South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin stated here, Monday.

According to Noerdin, his team will take maximum efforts to get rid of the smog, which since the end of August 2015 until now, continues to hinder public activities and affect the health of residents.

With human resources and equipment along with assistance from other countries, he is optimistic that the land fires can be ably overcome. The smog will also disappear as soon as possible, he added.

To overcome the smog disaster, the local government has since September 2015 deployed 4,997 personnel from the Provincial Agency for Disaster Management (BPBD), Manggala Agni, and Indonesian Armed/Police Forces, among others.

They were part of a task force who were assigned the role of reducing land and forest fires in South Sumatra.

"In the last two months, the task force had extinguished 1,259 hotspots and conducted 6,826 water bombing operations," he stated.

In addition, his officials will deploy additional equipment to put out land and forest fires.

This is part of the anticipatory measures undertaken to face the next dry season, so that smog problems can be minimized, or even overcome.

"The next steps will include adding more than 40 water pumps and normalizing the flow of water in peatlands or areas prone to land and forest fires," the governor explained.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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