Weather modification operation, waterbombing, air patrol, integrated patrol, and independent patrol have already been carried out as mitigation steps.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry is continuing to monitor hotspots and fire spots in regions prone to forest and land fires as well as carrying out fire mitigation in several regions.

The ministry has also continued to urge regional governments to raise their alertness and prioritize prevention efforts, the ministry's forest and land fire control director, Basar Manullang, told ANTARA here on Wednesday.

This suggestion is especially directed at regions prone to fire.

"Improving early detection systems and hotspot monitoring is done through the (website),” he informed over a messaging application.

"Fire spots monitoring is also being conducted through the use of thermal CCTV cameras in several spots prone to forest and land fires," he added.

Forest and land fire prevention patroling is also being done.

The patrols are being conducted independently by Manggala Agni, the ministry's forest fire brigade, as well as collaboratively by members drawn from Manggala Agni, the police, military, and civilians throughout the year.

Speaking about areas where forest and land fires have already started to occur, Manullang informed that in Riau and West Kalimantan, the ministry is monitoring 22 and 63 hotspots respectively.

This observation is based on the Terra/Aqua satellite monitoring until April 6, 2022.

Fire-fighting efforts have already been conducted in burnt areas by those from the Manggala Agni and Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) through the use of weather modification technology and water-bombing.

Moreover, Manggala Agni has already performed ground checks at the monitored hotspots.

"Weather modification operation, waterbombing, air patrol, integrated patrol, and independent patrol have already been carried out as mitigation steps," he informed.

Related news: BRIN to conduct weather modification to prevent forest fires in Riau

"To this day, Riau and West Kalimantan Governors have already implemented Forest and Land Fire Emergency Alert status," he added.

The ministry is also ensuring that alertness against forest and land fires continues to be bolstered since the rain has currently declined and half the provinces in Sumatra have started to become dry.

Other provinces may experience the dry season from May to June this year. A decreased rain potential is expected to cause an increase in forest and land fire potential.

"As a result, related parties have to strengthen their alertness as a precaution. The people's participation, especially at the ground level, very much determines forest and land fire prevention efforts," Manullang remarked.

Related news: BMKG forecasts higher potential of forest, land fires in 2022

Translator: Prisca Triferna V, Fadhli Ruhm
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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