The potential will continue to increase."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) predicted that forest and land fires would continue to increase ahead of the peak of current dry season ehich is expected to fall in September.

"The potential will continue to increase. The peak of the dry season is predicted to fall in September and so the potential for forest and land fires to happen will increase," the agencys spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said in a press statement received here on Sunday (August 5).

So far five provinces out of 34 have already declared an emergency status namely Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.

In West Kalimantan five districts have declared emergency status namely Kubu Raya, Ketapang, Sekadau, Melawi and Bengkayang.

Sutopo said hotspots that indicate forest and land fires have so far been found in private companies plantations, peoples kands and in National Parks.

"Based on locations of hotspots in 2015, 2016 and 2017 it shows that fires have been found to repeat in several locations evey year such as at Tesso Nelo National Park, Ogan Komering Ilir, Riau-Jambi border area and others," he said.

He said nationally a total of 282 hotspots have been detected with the most found in West Kalimantan (150), followed by South Sumatra (23), South Sulawesi (18) and Riau (16).

He said there had been an increase in the number of fires in Igan Komering Ikir in South Sumatra since Saturday.

He said efforts and patrols have been intensified to prevent more fires in Jambi and South Sumatra and request for more helicopters to conduct water bombing has bern made.

Efforts to fight the fires have often been hurdled by limited accessibility to the fire locations, the width of the area affected by fires, limited water supply and firefighters, dry weather, limited means and budget, he said.

(Reported by Aditya Ramadhan/Uu.H-YH)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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