Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Commander of the Sriwijaya/Regional Military District II Major General Am Putranto has confirmed that a fire in the Ogan Ilir forest was put out.
The commander visited the location of the fire in Arisanjaya Village, Pendamaran Sub-district, Ogan Ilir District, South Sumatra Province, on Monday.
His personnel had joined a team comprising police officers, rangers, volunteers, and fire brigade personnel, among others, in the fight against the wildfire.
The Army official has urged local farmers to stop practicing the slash and burn method to clear land for farming.
He also expressed hope that a fire would not recur in the area.
Meanwhile, Indonesias National Disaster Mitigation Agency has forecast that forest and land fires would continue to increase ahead of the peak of the current dry season in September.
"The likelihood of fires surfacing will continue to increase. The peak of the dry season is forecast to fall in September, and so, the potential for forest and land fires occuring will increase," the agencys spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, noted in a press statement received in Jakarta on Sunday.
So far, five out of the 34 provinces -- Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan -- have already declared an emergency status.
In West Kalimantan, the five districts of Kubu Raya, Ketapang, Sekadau, Melawi, and Bengkayang have declared an emergency status.
Sutopo said hotspots indicating forest and land fires have, so far, been found in plantations of private companies, peoples lands, and national parks.
"Based on the locations of hotspots in 2015, 2016, and 2017, it shows that fires have been found to recur in several locations every year, such as at the Tesso Nelo National Park, Ogan Komering Ilir, and the Riau-Jambi border area," he pointed out.(*)