Manado, North Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Some 47 hotspots indicating forest and plantation fires have been detected in North Sulawesi Province, according to Commander of the Sam Ratulangi Air Force Base Colonel Djoko Tjahjono.

"We are trying to put out the 47 hotspots that spread in North Sulawesi, by conducting aerial and land operations," he said here, Tuesday.

Of the 47 hotsptos, 29 are found in Mount Klabat, 10 in Mount Dua Sudara, three in Bollang Mongondow, four in South Minahasa and one in Mount Wiau.

The aerial operation is focused on Mount Klabat and Mount Dua Sudara located in North Minahasa because they have the largest number of hostpots, which have potential to produce haze that could affect flights to and from the Sam Ratulangi international airport in Manado.

Acting Governor of North Sulawesi, Sonny Sumarsono, said some 850 personnel have been deployed to extinguish the fires.

"I will closely monitor the efforts to put out the fires immediately, so it would not affect the air traffic in North Sulawesi," he stated.

A total of 18,435 hectares of forest and plantation areas located in 15 districts and cities in the province have been gutted by fires.

"For the forest area, 5,870 hectares are burned, and for plantation area, some 12,565 hectares," Head of the North Sulawesi forestry office Herry Rotinsulu stated.

Editor: Ade P Marboen
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