Jakarta (ANTARA) - Some 29,039 fire brigade personnel have been roped in to tackle land and forest fires throughout Indonesia, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB).

Of the total personnel engaged in the efforts, 10,015 are tasked with handling land and forest fires in Central Kalimantan Province, Acting Chief of the BNPB Center for Data, Information, and Public Relations Agus Wibowo noted in a press statement released on Friday.

In conducting its tasks, the BNPB has deployed 44 helicopters, comprising 34 for water bombing operations and 10 for patrolling.

In Central Kalimantan, the BNPB has deployed seven helicopters to conduct water bombing and two helicopters for patrols.

The massive deployment of fire brigade personnel was also observed in South Sumatra Province where the BNPB had engaged 8,679 personnel equipped with seven helicopters for water bombing and two helicopters for patrols.

The BNPB has also employed 5,809 fire brigade personnel in Riau Province and operated six helicopters for conducting water bombing and one helicopter for patrolling.

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Wibowo noted that 270,284,874 liters of water were sprayed during water-bombing operations to douse land and forest fires throughout Indonesia.

Around 127,392,800 liters of water had been utilized during aerial operations in Riau owing to the largest area of land and forest fires across the province.

Furthermore, the government has sprayed 163,216 kilograms of salt to apply weather modification technology to induce rains in regions where land and forest fires are found.

Weather modification technology was applied in Riau and South Sumatra by scattering 161,161 kilograms and 1,600 kilograms of NaCl salt respectively.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto remarked last Friday that the government had planned several measures to address land and forest fires in several parts of the country.

"The first step is to strengthen the Manggala Agni fire brigade," he stated after attending a ministerial-level special meeting on containing forest and land fires in Jakarta.

To this end, the number of fire brigade personnel equipped with fire extinguishers will be increased, he noted.

The government will also make preparations for conducting cloud seeding operations to induce rain.

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Translator: Dewanto Samodro/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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