Aceh hit by 283 forest fires since 2016

Aceh hit by 283 forest fires since 2016

M Daud, hed of the Aceh foerst management office. (Antara/Teuku Dedi Iskandar)

Meulaboh, Aceh (ANTARA) -
Aceh Province has recorded a total of 283 cases of forest fires that hit Indonesia's western most province since 2016 until early June 2019.

Traditional farming using slash-and-burn method contributed to the high number of forest fire cases in the province, according to M Daud, head of the forest management office for Region IV of Aceh, said here on Sunday.

In Aceh, there were 103 fire spots in 2016, 113 in 2017, and 65 in 2018, according to him.

"And in 2019, there are only two fire spots, notably in West Aceh District," he remarked.

Farm and plantation fires were recorded in West Aceh, Nagan Raya, Southwest Aceh, South Aceh, Aceh Singkil, Aceh Tamiang, Central Aceh, East Aceh, Bener Meriah, Bireuen, Gayo Lues, Pidie, and Pidie Jaya.

Peatland fires occurred annually in West Aceh and Nagan Raya Districts, he added.

"In general, the source of the fires is slash-and-burn farming method. It's very dangerous," he stated.

The Aceh administration has involved local people in its efforts to prevent forest fires, particularly in peatland area.

Slash-and-burn method used for forest clearance is banned in Indonesia, in order to prevent widespread forest fires.

The Indonesian authorities have claimed that the number of forest fires had reduced some 85 percent over the past several years, thanks to preventive measures.