Palangka Raya, C Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) is ready to deploy more helicopters to put out land and forest fire in Central Kalimantan, the agency's chief Lt.Gen Doni Monardo said.

"We are ready if we are requested by the provincial administration," Monardo said at a coordination meeting to tackle land and forest fires here on Sunday.

Monardo has asserted the agency's commitment to assisting local governments to overcome land and forest fires. "We are here now to give support to Central Kalimantan Provincial Government, the Indonesian Military, the police and local people to prevent land and forest fires."

He furthermore called on people to stop slash and burn practice to clear the land, because it would be very difficult to extinguish the fires ravaging peatland areas.

"I also call on the media to disclose and disseminate information on the location of the fires, including names of the land owners," he said, adding that it will become a deterrent effect for them.

The Central Kalimantan Provincial Government's Regional Secretary Fakhrizal Fitri said the authority has deployed six water bombing helicopters and one patrol helicopter.

"Currently, of the total 13 districts/cities in Central Kalimantan, seven districts and one city have declared emergency status (for land and forest fire)," he said.

On July 29, at least 27 hotspots were detected in Riau, 26 in Jambi, 14 in Central Kalimantan, 12 in West Kalimantan, and five in South Sumatra.

Translator: Rendhik Andika, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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