Six hotspots observed in North Penajam Paser, East Kalimantan

Six hotspots observed in North Penajam Paser, East Kalimantan

A map of hotspots in West Kalimantan on Sept 4-5, 2019. (photo: special/FA)

Penajam, East Kalimantan (ANTARA) - No less than six hotspots, suggestive of forest fires, were found in North Penajam Paser District, East Kalimantan, the location of Indonesia's next capital city in future.

The hotspots were found in the sub-districts of Penajam, Waru, Babulu, and Sepaku, Tohar, ex-officio head of the North Penajam Paser disaster mitigation office (BPBD), stated here on Thursday.

Data of the local BPBD showed that as of August 2019, some 23 cases were registered of forest fires ravaging a total area of 65 hectares in North Penajam Paser.

He called on local officers and farmers to remain alert to forest fires, as prolonged drought will last until October this year.

Tohar also called on plantation companies and local farmers to stop using fire for land clearance owing to its damaging impacts on the floral and faunal ecosystem.

Related news: Satellite imagery suggests 949 hotspots in West Kalimantan
Related news: LAPAN records slight dip in hotspots in West Kalimantan

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has announced that parts of the districts of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara in East Kalimantan Province will be the location for the country’s new capital expected to be inaugurated in 2024, the year when Jokowi’s second term would come to an end. Jokowi had informed the media on August 26, 2019, that the two districts were selected, as they faced the least risks from natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, and landslides.

Moreover, they are strategically located in the heart of Indonesia and near Balikpapan and Samarinda that are developed cities. Thus, basic infrastructure and facilities already exist. Furthermore, the government owns 180 thousand hectares of land there.

The government has made assurance that development of the capital city will not harm the environment and pledged that East Kalimantan’s forests would remain intact.

In the meantime, the LAPAN satellite image data showed the presence of 935 hotspots indicating forest fires in West Kalimantan on September 4-5, 2019, a slight dip from 949 hotspots on Sept 3-4.

Head of the Supadio-Pontianak meteorology office Erika Mardiyanti stated here on Thursday morning that the number of hotspots decreased by 14 than that of the previous day.

Of the total figure, 452 hotspots were observed in Ketapang District, surging from 433 on the earlier day.

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