"The smoke was so thick that local residents had to be evacuated soon," chief of the Riau provincial polices public relations service, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Guntur Aryo Tejo, stated.
Most of the evacuees were oil palm farmers living on private plantations, he noted.
The three affected sub-districts are Bonai Darussalam, Pujud-Rokan Hilir and Mandau-Bengkalis sub-district.
He disclosed that the Rokan Hulu police resort has sent its personnel to help with the evacuation efforts.
"In addition, the police have also distributed free masks among residents," he informed.
The smoke on Saturday was the result of land fire which had been affecting the area since August 22. The situation worsened as the land fire continued to spread, leading to thick clouds of smoke billowing, he explained.
To make things worse, strong winds moved in the direction of the residential areas, forcing residents to evacuate to safer areas to avoid upper tract respiratory infection, he underlined.
He let it be known that the affected residents were evacuated to a soccer field in Jurong hamlet.
(Reported by Fazar Muhardi & Anggi Romadhoni/Uu.S012/INE/KR-BSR)