382 hotspots detected in West Kalimantan

382 hotspots detected in West Kalimantan

A map showing hotspots in West Kalimantan Province on Aug 15, 2019. (Photo: special/FA)

Pontianak, West Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The number of hotspots indicating forest fires in West Kalimantan Province jumped to 382 on Thursday morning from 148 on the previous day, according to the Supadio Pontianak meteorology office.

Of the total hotspots, 115 were found in Sanggau district, 58 in Kapuas Hulu District, 54 in Ketapang, 28 in Landak, 25 in Melawi, 18 in Mempawah, 10 in Bengkayang, nine in Sambas, eight in Kubu Raya, three in Sekadau, and two in North Kayong, said Erika Mardiyanti, the head of he Supadio meteorology, climatology, and geophysics office, here on Thursday.

Earlier, the Pontianak City Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) had stated that fires swept through five to 10 hectares of peatland in West Kalimantan during the dry spell this year.

"The area of peatland burned was so small that the military, police, and BPBD personnel, with assistance from private fighters, managed to extinguish the blaze quickly," BPBD Head Saptiko said in Pontianak on Aug 13, 2019.

To handle land and forest fires in the province, the BPBD is conducting joint routine patrols in fire-prone land and forest areas with the military and police.

“We have also intensified prevention efforts by routinely informing the public of the danger and impact of land and forest fires, so they will no longer set fire to land or elsewhere,” he stated.

On Monday, August 12, 2019, the Pontianak city administration sealed four plots of burned land on Sepakat Street 2, Southeast Pontianak Sub-district.

The city government put up a notice board on the sealed land, stating: “This land is under the surveillance of the Pontianak city government. It violates Regional Regulation No. 55/2018 concerning land and forest fires.”

Thick smoke from land and forest fires had forced the Pontianak city education and culture office to close kindergartens and elementary schools on Tuesday and Wednesday. Meanwhile, learning activities at junior high schools are being conducted from 9 a.m. local time.

West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji, at a coordination meeting to discuss control of land and forest fires on Monday, summoned 94 plantation companies and timber estates believed to have set fire to land in their respective concession areas.

"The 94 companies comprise 56 plantation companies and 38 timber estates. We summoned them as hotspots were found around their concessions,” he said.

The meeting was held in response to rampant land and forest fires in several districts in the province.

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