Hot spots begin appearing in Riau: BMKG

Hot spots begin appearing in Riau: BMKG

Indonesian army personnel attempt to extinguish a recent bush and forest fire in Aceh Jaya District's area. (ANTARA/HO/BPBD Aceh Jaya)

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Pekanbaru Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) revealed on Monday afternoon that five hot spots, which indicate possible occurrences of bush and forest fires, have begun appearing in four districts of Riau Province.

The confidence level of those hot spots that the Terra and Aqua Satellites detected on Monday at 04.00 pm local time reached above 50 percent, Head of the Pekanbaru-based BMKG, Sukisno, revealed.

"Two hot spots have been detected in Bengkalis District, while three others have been detected in the districts of Siak, Rokan Hilir, and Pelalawan," he said, adding that the confidence level of the two hot spots in Bengkalis District reached up to 60 percent.

One hot spot in Pelalawan District was detected in the Kuala Kampar Subdistrict area, he said.

As part of preventive measures, the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has begun activating its land and forest fire control task force following the imposition of an emergency response status from February 19 to October 31, 2019.

Throughout the first semester of 2019, the bush and forest fires had ravaged more than 3,000 hectares of land in Riau, Head of the province's BPBD, Edwar Sanger, said.

In the meantime, South Sumatra's Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has taken precautionary measures by increasing surveillance in several villages in four districts to prevent bush and forest fires in the dry season.

The surveillance mechanism was stepped up since the districts of Ogan Komering Ilir, Ogan Ilir, Banyuasin, and Musi Banyuasin were repeatedly ravaged by bush and forest fires, Head of the South Sumatra BPBD, Iriansyah, stated.

To this end, his office will add 1,500 personnel comprising those from the BPBD along with the local military and police. During the course of the last few years, 7,649 personnel had undertaken surveillance and mitigation efforts, he told journalists.

With an increase in the number of personnel, the recurrence of bush and forest fires that generally produce thick smog during the dry season in South Sumatra can be prevented, he remarked, adding that 756 Incident Command Posts will also be reactivated.

South Sumatra and numerous other provinces in Indonesia's Sumatra Island have been repeatedly challenged and threatened by haze, triggered by land and forest fires, over the past years.

Due to this reality, apart from mitigation efforts, the government has also been adopting preventive measures in the form of restoring peatland areas in South Sumatra, spanning some 594,231 hectares.