"The fire broke out on Friday (July 19, 2019). Right now, our team, along with personnel of the TNI (Indonesian military) and the Regional Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) are trying to put out the fire," Chief of the Pekanbaru Chapter of Forest Fire Control Brigade (Manggala Agn) Edwin Putra said here on Sunday.
It took long time to extinguish the blaze since the land mostly consisted of shrubs and peatland, he said.
Temperature in Pekanbaru was hotter than average in the past couple of weeks with minimum rainfalls. Consequently, fire could easily gut peatland.
To prevent the fire from spreading, the joint land fire control task force has been trying to put out the fire by localizing it.
According to the Riau Provincial Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD), dozens of hotspots were spotted in the province over the past two weeks.
The office said land and forest fires affected several areas in the province including Rupat, Bengkalis, Rokan Hilir, Meranti, Siak and Pelalawan.