BMKG forecasts potential forest, land fires after transition season

BMKG forecasts potential forest, land fires after  transition season

Photo Archive. Personnel from Village Guidance Officer (Babinsa) and Pekanbaru Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) extinguished peatland fires in Rumbai Sub-district of Pekanbaru City in Riau on Monday (3/1/2021). (ANTARA FOTO/FB Anggoro)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) has forecast likely expansion of dry areas following the transition season and urged the government in these prone regions to stay alert to potential forest and land fires.

"(Local governments) should be vigilant because during the period of late April and early May, dry areas will tend to increase and become more evenly distributed," Agie Wandala Putra, Head of BMKG's Weather Early Warning Sub-Division, stated here on Friday.

Putra noted that in early May of 2021, the regions of South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan would tend to become drier, thereby necessitating continued vigil and awareness of local governments of the possibility of forest and land fires.

In areas where forest and land fires are prevalent during the dry season, such as Riau and Jambi provinces, forest and land fires in these areas are expected to potentially increase during the period from June to July 2021.

"This is since the dry season for this year starts gradually," he noted.

According to the BMKG, the areas observed to be categorized as red or prone to fires on Friday included parts of South Sumatra, Lampung, parts of Central and East Java, southern West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan, as well as West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.

The BMKG has forecast the dry season to commence in April 2021 for some regions in Indonesia and will peak in August 2021.

The potential for forest and land fires in the northern part of Riau is estimated to increase in May and June, while Jambi and the northern parts of South Sumatra are also required to be aware of a similar potential.

The agency estimates that the potential for forest and land fires in July will increase in Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and West Nusa Tenggara. Meanwhile, during the peak of the dry season, the southern part of Papua is also included in the potential disaster-prone zone.

Hence, the BMKG has urged the government in areas prone to forest and land fires on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan to increase awareness and mitigation efforts during the dry season, including by monitoring water levels in peatlands and preparing facilities and infrastructure to support prevention efforts and countermeasures against forest and land fires. Related news: BMKG reports 18 hotspots in Bengkalis District
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