Jokowi instructs to immediately extinguish forest fires

Jokowi instructs to immediately extinguish forest fires

President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana visited Samosir District, North Sumatra Province, on July 31, 2019. (Photo: presidential secretariat / FA)

Three days ago, I phoned the BNPB (National Disaster Mitigation Office) chief, the Commander of the National Defense Forces (TNI), and the National Police Chief to deal with (the fires) in Riau, Palangka Raya, immediately
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has given orders to immediately put out the forest fires currently raging in several regions across the country.

"Three days ago, I had called the BNPB (National Disaster Mitigation Office) chief, commander of the National Defense Forces (TNI), and the National Police chief to deal with (the fires) in Riau, Palangka Raya, immediately," Jokowi remarked during his visit to Samosir District, North Sumatra Province, here on Wednesday.

Helicopters could be used to extinguish the forest fires, he stated.

In the meantime, a total of 27,683.47 hectares of forest, peatland, and bush areas in Riau Province were gutted by fires as of July 29, 2019, as compared to 2,273.97 hectares in West Kalimantan, 236.49 hectares in South Sumatra, 52.53 hectares in South Kalimantan, 27 hectares in Central Kalimantan, and 4.18 hectares in Jambi.

Some 5,929 personnel, comprising military, police, and civilian officers, were deployed to extinguish forest fires in the five provinces of Riau, South Sumatra, Central Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.

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The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture announced that the country’s five provinces have declared an emergency status over land and forest fires in response to the threat of moderate to high drought risks in 2019.

The personnel were part of the Land Task Force for forest fire emergency and supported by the Air Task Force as well as firefighters from private companies, such APP Sinar Mas, which has deployed 3,180 men.

The Air Task Force has deployed helicopters to help extinguish forest, peatland, and bush fires. A total of 17 helicopters from the Military, private companies, Environmental Affairs Ministry, and the Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) have been readied in Riau, three in South Sumatra, six in West Kalimantan, and seven in Central Kalimantan.

Some 61.06 million liters of water was used to put out the wildfires. The authorities have also applied weather modification technology to induce artificial rain in regions where hotspots were detected.

Related news: 11 provinces should declare alert status for forest fire: Ministry

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