Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry has taken early precautionary measures against land and forest fires, with the climatology agency forecasting moderate El Nino during the period from January to February.

"Moderate El Nino will be experienced in Indonesia from early January to February 2019 that will necessitate the adoption of early anticipatory measures," the ministry`s Director General of Climate Change Ruandha Agung noted in a statement here on Monday.

Agung remarked that the ministry`s Manggala Agni fire-fighting brigade had improved its preparedness to tackle land and forest fires.

Meanwhile, Director for Land and Forest Fires of the ministry Raffles B. Panjaitan stated that heat and strong wind had sparked land and forest fires in Dumai District of Riau Province.

"Manggala Agni has continued to prevent the fire from spreading further," he noted, adding that fires in peatland areas are difficult to extinguish, as the hotspots were located under the land surface.

The team has also undertaken preventive efforts in fire-prone areas and monitored the reappearance of hotspots.

Reporting by Virna P Setyorini, Sri Haryati


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