Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Haze from forest fires has shrouded Banjarmasin City, the capital of South Kalimantan Province, on Monday morning.

In residential and farming areas in Pemurus, South Banjarmasin Sub-district, the smoke was quite thick and permeated the closed doors of homes.

Hana, a local inhabitant of Pemurus, said despite being indoors, she experienced irritation in the eyes due the smoke.

Several people were forced to wear face masks due to the smoke.

Indonesia is currently experiencing severe dry season that has induced forest fires on the islands of Java, Kalimantan, and Sumatra.

The ongoing prolonged drought has caused water shortage in several regions, such as in the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Java, and triggered fires in forest areas, particularly in West Kalimantan and Central Java.

In West Kalimantan, schools were recently closed, as forest fires produced smoke that could affect the health of students.

The national disaster mitigation office has deployed four helicopters to help extinguish the fires.

On Java Island, wildfires were reported on at least three mountainous areas: Mount Lawu, Mount Sindoro, and Mount Argpuro.

At least 30-hectare forest areas were razed by fires on Mount Lawu, which is located on the border of the provinces of Central and East Java.

Joint efforts have been made over the past few days to extinguish the forest fire, but the prolonged drought and strong winds had hindered the fire fighters` endeavors, Djohan Surjoputro, Mount Lawu`s administrative authority, stated recently.

Several hundred people, including local volunteers and personnel of state-owned forestry company Perhutani, military, police, and environment agency, participated in the joint efforts.

A forest fire also engulfed certain parts of Mount Sindoro in Temanggung District, Central Java Province, though, according to a spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, it could have been extinguished.

The forest fire destroyed some 156 hectares of land, and the local authorities had still closed the mountain`s climbing trails, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho remarked.

Reporting by Sukarli
Editing by Fardah

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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