Putussibau, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The West Kalimantan police sealed off the operations of palm oil company PT Dinamika Multi Perkasa in Kenepai Village, Semitau Sub-district, Kapuas Hulu District, over wildfires occuring on its concession land, a police investigator stated.

"After sealing off the plantation, we are also summoning the company's people for questioning," Head of the Kapuas Hulu Police Precinct's Criminal Investigation Unit Inspector Siko remarked in Putussibau, West Kalimantan Province, on Friday.

The land and forest fires recently ravaged two hectares of land reportedly owned by local residents, but the land destroyed by wildfires is located in the palm oil company's concession area, he stated.

Investigators have drawn a police line around the wildfire-razed area and placed a banner restricting access to use the land while the police investigation is underway, Siko revealed.

The police will act sternly against errant individuals and companies involved in the burning of land, he emphasized, adding that the Kapuas Hulu police investigators will coordinate with experts from related agencies, such as the National Land Agency (BPN).

West Kalimantan Province’s several areas have been reeling from the impact of the thick smoke emanating from wildfires over the past weeks. The people's health and economic activities have also been impacted by the thickening smog.

Related news: West Kalimantan Police currently processing 66 cases of forest fires

In Singkawang, the city administration had shut down preschools and elementary schools in an attempt to keep students at home in response to the thick haze cover arising from land and forest fires that conflagrated some parts of the province over the past days.

The city administration had closed schools on Sept 16-18. The local students were instructed to return to schools on Sept 19, Singkawang City Mayor Tjhai Chui Mie stated.

Mie had appealed to the parents to care for their kids' health.

On September 16, thick smoke emanating from the wildfires also lowered visibility to some 550 meters, resulting in the Supadio International Airport authorities not permitting pilots to land or take off.

According to Acting Head of the Operational Division at Supadio International Airport in Pontianak Didi Herdiansyah, the approved visibility for aviation safety was at least a thousand meters.

However, the thickening smog had drastically lowered it to 550 meters. Consequently, several flight schedules were affected, he noted. Related news: Government makes maximal efforts to fight land, forest fires: Jokowi

Related news: NGOs send open letter to President Jokowi over forest fires


Translator: Teofilusianto T, Rahmad Nasuti
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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