"Today, four helicopters were flown in to help the land-based task force tackle the land fire in Pelalawan and Siak," Deputy Commander of the task force Edwar Sanger stated here on Tuesday.
The authority has detected dozens of hotspots in the two resource-rich districts since the past week, and peatland fire in the regions have produced haze that shrouded its neighboring Pekanbaru City.
The Pekanbaru meteorology, climatology, and geophysics station stated that haze arising from forest fires had lowered visibility to two kilometers in Pekanbaru, Pelalawan, and Siak.
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The task force has focused its operation in the two areas by deploying four helicopters: a Kamov helicopter, an MI 171 helicopter, and two Bell 412 helicopters.
Sanger noted that the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) had readied eight helicopters to put out the land and forest fires in Riau. However, maintenance was deemed necessary for some of the helicopters deployed for thousands of water bombings in the areas.
Sanger stated that the fire had ravaged 4,582.62 hectares of land in Riau since January.
Related news: Satellites identify 152 hotspots on Sumatra Island
Bengkalis is the worst-hit, with 1,480 hectares (ha) of land destroyed by fire, followed by 966 ha in Rokan Hilir, 304 ha in Dumai, 579 ha in Siak, 252 ha in Meranti, 87.7 ha in Pekanbaru, 104 ha in Kampar, 494 ha in Indragiri Hilir, 104 ha in Indragiri Hulu, 2.25 ha in Rokan Hulu, 195 ha in Pelalawan, and 5.1 ha in Kuansing.
The Terra and Aqua Satellite detected 152 hotspots indicating forest and peatland fires on Sumatra Island on Tuesday morning.
A total of 75 hotspots were detected in Riau, 10 in Aceh, seven in Jambi, two in West Sumatra, five in Lampung, 25 in South Sumatra, 18 in North Sumatra, and 10 in Bangka Belitung.
In Riau, the hotspots were found in nine districts and municipalities, including 24 in Rokan Hilir, 17 in Pelalawan, 25 in Indragiri Hilir, nine in Siak, three each in Bengkalis and Kampar, two in Meranti, and one each in Dumai and Kuansing.
Of the total 75 hotspots in Riau, 53 were believed to be fire spots, with a confidence rate of between 70 percent and 100 percent.
At least 19 fire spots were found in Rokan Hilir, 13 in Pelalawan, 12 in Indragiri Hilir, five in Siak, and two each in Bengkalis and Kampar. Related news: Haze-induced visibility impairment in Pekanbaru reaches two kilometers
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