Pekanbaru shrouded in haze from forest fire

Pekanbaru shrouded in haze from forest fire

A fire fighter tried to extinguish bushfire in Pekanbaru, Riau, earlier this year. (Doc ANTARA FOTO/Rony Muharrman/wsj.

Pekanbaru. Riau (ANTARA) - Tampan and Senapelan Sub-districts in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, Sumatra Island, on Sunday were shrouded in haze coming from forest fire.

"Haze shrouds Panam (in Tampan sub-district)," Tanjung, a local inhabitant, said here on Sunday.

The Terra and Aqua satellites detected 38 hotspots on Sunday morning, an increase from 35 hotspots on the previous day, the Pekanbaru meteorology, climatology and geophysics (BMKG) station, said.

The 38 hotspots were found in 11 districts and municipalities in Riau Province. Siak District had nine hotspots, Pelalawan seven, Bengkalis six, Rokan Hilir six, Kampar three, Rokan Hulu two, as well as Pekanbaru, Meranti, Kuantan Singngi, Indragiri Hilir and Indragiri Hulu one hotspot each

A joint team comprising local fire fighters, police and military officers, has tried to extinguish forest fire in Parit Baru Village, Tambang Sub-district, Kampar District, since several days ago.

Related news: Manggala Agni continues fire-fighting efforts in Kampar peatland

A local farmer identified by his initial as MH (22) was detained by Riau Police for setting fire on peatland area to be converted into a farming area in Parit Baru.

The Indonesian Government has outlawed the use of fire to clear land because it often trigger forest and bush fires.

Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lt Gen. Doni Monardo had earlier stated that Riau was highly susceptible to forest and land fires, with the dry season peaking during the period from July to October.

The agency has deployed 1,512 personnel in Riau comprising military and police personnel, Manggala Agni, and the Fire Care Community, as well as involved academicians, ulemas, environmental NGO, and journalists, as a precautionary measure against land and forest fires.

"The task force is expected to edify the people to stop the practice of land burning to prepare the land for plantation," Monardo remarked.

Related news: Regional leaders must understand disaster potentials in their regions

Earlier this year, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reminded the regional authorities to step up their vigilance over possible forest fires and droughts as this year's dry season was forecast to be drier than that of the previous year.

Related news: Hot spots begin appearing in Riau: BMKG
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