157 hotspots detected across Sumatra island on Saturday

157 hotspots detected across Sumatra island on Saturday

Forest fire in Riau, Sumatra Island. FOTO ANTARA/FB Anggoro/Koz/nz/LD/09.

Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA News)- A total of 157 hotspots, indicating forest and plantation fires, were detected across Sumatra Island on Saturday, according to the Blang Bintang meteorology, climatology and geophysics office.

The hotspots were found in the provinces of South Sumatra, Lampung, Bangka Belitung, Riau, Jambi, and West Sumatra, Zakaria Ahmad of the local meteorology office, said here, on Saturday.

Of the total, 60 hotspots were believed to come from fires with trust level of over 81 percent.

The number of hotspots detected across Sumatra was an increase from 154 hotspots on the previous day (Friday, Sept 14).

Based on monitoring by Terra and Aqua satellites, 77 hotspots were found in South Sumatra, 33 each in Lampung and Bengkulu, 14 in Bangka Belitung, nine in Riau, four in West Sumatra, three in Jambi, and one on Riau Island.

In Riau, four hotspots were found in Indragiri Hulu District, two in Rokan Hilir, and one each in Bengkalis, Pelalawan, and Meranti Island.

Brigadier General Sonny Aprianto, commander of the Riau forest fire task force, had earlier ordered for firm action against arsonists.

He also gave shoot-at-sight orders to his officers against perpetrators of forest and plantation fires.

The commander believed that 99 percent of the forest and plantation fires in Sumatra were induced by human activities.

By imposing legal enforcement and firm control, the Indonesian government has managed to reduce forest fires by 96.5 percent across the country during the 2015-2017 period.

Based on data obtained from NOAA`s satellites, 21,929 hotspots were found across Indonesia in 2015, and the figure dropped to 3,915 in 2016, and again 2,257 in 2017, according to Raffles B. Panjaitan, director of forest and plantation fire control of the environmental affairs and forestry ministry.

The wild fires had razed a total of 2,611,411 hectares in 2015, and the figure decreased to 438,360 hectares in 2016, and again to 165,464 hectares in 2017.

Reporting by Muhammad Said
Editing by Bustanuddin