Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - South Sumatra's Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has deployed five water bombing helicopters to douse land and forest fires in some of the province’s districts.

Head of the emergency management unit of the agency Ansori stated here on Friday that the BPBD had also deployed two air patrol helicopters and a weather modification aircraft.

"All-out efforts to put out the fire have been made intensively to reduce smog that covered the areas during the past few days," he stated.

Related news: Four people named suspects in land and forest fires in S Sumatra

Three other helicopters are yet under routine maintenance at the Sri Mulyono Herlambang Air Base in Palembang.

The BPBD has directed its operation at the Ogan Komering Ilir District having the highest recorded hotspots.

"The fire in Ogan Komering Ilir has become our priority. This is not easy as most of the area is peatland and access to the location of the fire is difficult," Ansori stated.

Haze has engulfed Palembang City during the past few days. On Friday, satellite of the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space identified 417 hotspots in some districts in the province. Related news: Forest fires destroy parts of Sumatran elephant habitats

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Translator: Dolly Rosana, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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