"Based on the Terra and Aqua satellites reports this morning, 27 hotspots were detected in Bengkalis and 12 were detected in Meranti," Head of the BMKG Station, Sugarin, said.
Meanwhile, five hotspots were detected in Pelalawan, two in Rokan Hilir, three in Dumai, two in Siak, four in Indragiri Hilir and one hotspot was detected in Indragiri Hulu, he said.
Overall, the satellite detected 79 hotspots across Sumatra island, of which 56 were found in Riau, 18 in Riau Islands and five in North Sumatra.
Sugarin believed that 30 of the 56 hotspots in Riau indicated forest and land fires with a confidence rate of above 70 percent.
He said 15 of the 30 hotspots were found in Bengkalis.
A total of 63 hotspots were detected across Sumatra Island on Thursday, including 16 in Riau Islands Province, nine in Aceh, 14 in North Sumatra, and two in West Sumatra.
On March 7, the Riau provincial government declared an emergency alert status, indicating the need to expedite the efforts to prevent and handle forest and land fires following the discovery of hotspots.
The status, which will remain effective for three months, is aimed at expediting the measures to handle and prevent forest and land fires.
Riaus district administrations of Meranti, Bengkalis, Dumai, Rokan Hilir, Siak and Pelalawan had earlier also declared the emergency alert status.
(Reported by Fazar Muhardi & Anggi Romadhon/Uu.S12/INE/KR-BSR)