Fires scorch 248 ha of land, forests in Riau

Fires scorch 248 ha of land, forests in Riau

Firefighters try to put out forest and land fires in Palalawan district, Riau province in February, 2021. (ANTARA/HO-Satgas Karhutla Riau)

If the land and forest fires are widespread, (firefighting) will be costly. The cost may run into trillions of rupiahs, much time will be spent, and more personnel will have to be involved to put out the fires. So preventive measures must be taken fr
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Fires have laid to waste 248.95 hectares of land and forests in Riau province since early this year, chief of the Riau Provincial Natural Disaster Mitigation Board (BPBD), Edwar Sanger, said here on Tuesday.

Bengkalis district was hit the hardest, with 82 hectares of peatland catching fire, according to data provided by the BPBD.

The land and forest fires also damaged 45 hectares of land in Siak district, 40 hectares in Dumai City, 40 hectares in Indragiri Hilir district, 26 hectares in Pelalawan district, 4 hectares in Meranti Islands district, 5 hectares in Indragiri Hulu district, and 5 hectares in Rokan Hilir district.

Riau Governor Syamsuar has declared an emergency standby status for land and forest fires from mid-February to October 31, 2021.

"We have also fielded a joint team of personnel from the Indonesian military, police, and BPBD, not to mention firefighters from companies surrounding the scene of fires," he informed.

Related news: Fires destroy 55 hectares of land, forests in Riau

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Station in Pekanbaru reported on Tuesday morning that the Tera and Aqua satellites have detected 20 hotspots indicating land and forest fires in Sumatra, of which 15 were located in Riau.

In Riau, 10 hotspots have been detected in Siak, 2 in Dumai, 2 in Palawan, and 1 in Indragiri Hilir.

Riau Vice Governor Edy Narat Nasution has appealed to all sides to assist the local government in fighting land and forest fires.

“If the land and forest fires are widespread, (firefighting) will be costly. The cost may run into trillions of rupiahs, much time will be spent, and more personnel will have to be involved to put out the fires. So preventive measures must be taken from now on,” he said. (INE)

Related news: 11 hotspots of forest fires detected in Riau's coastal areas

Related news: Riau prepares for land and forest fires this year


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