Palembang, South Sumatra (ANTARA) - Activists of the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) chapter in South Sumatra reported about hundreds of hotspots with the potential to trigger forest fires in several districts in the province over the course of last month.

The local community and forest and land firefighting task force should apply preventive measures to stop hotspots from spreading, Executive Director of Walhi’s South Sumatra Chapter M. Hairul Sobri stated here on Monday.

The Aqua, Landsat-8, and NOAA satellites detected the hotspots in May in the districts of Ogan Komering Ilir, Banyuasin, and Musi Banyuasin, among others.

The hotspots were caused due to agricultural land, plantations, and forest areas being burnt, and they could produce haze, he remarked.

Related news: Stringent law enforcement crucial to keep forest fire cases down

"In the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, haze arising from forest fire could be very hazardous, as it could trigger various health problems and also cause death," Sobri cautioned.

Ansori, an official of the South Sumatra disaster mitigation office (BPBD), remarked that his office and a joint forest and land fire control task force had taken various anticipatory measures through ground and aerial operations since the last two months.

They conducted wetting of dried peatland areas and reminded the local plantation managers and farmers to not use the slash and burn farming method. Related news: BMKG identifies seven hotspots in North Sumatra

Translator: Yudi Abdullah, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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