"The potential for land and forest fires threatens most of East Nusa Tenggara, with a highly flammable category, as it has entered the dry season that resulted in the emergence of hotspots," El Tari Meteorological Station Head Agung Sudiono Abadi noted in Kupang on Monday.
Abadi remarked that the early warning took effect on Monday, May 2, 2022.
He drew attention to several areas comprising the districts of Kupang, Rote Ndao, Sabu Raijua, parts of East Sumba, and Central Sumba that are in a vulnerable condition or highly susceptible to experiencing forest and land fires.
In addition, he pointed out that parts of South Timor Tengah District, North Timor Tengah, Belu, Lembata, East Flores, and Sikka, Nagekeo were prone to experiencing forest and land fires.
According to Abadi, the likelihood of forest and land fires was quite high due to the reeds and leaves that usually cover the forest floor, thereby making it very dry and highly flammable.
The station head noted that only a small part of South Timor Tengah, most of East Manggarai, Manggarai, and West Manggarai were relatively safer.
Related news: Forest fires: Ministry monitors hotspots as dry season approaches
Generally, forest and land fire incidents occur due to human activities either intentionally or unintentionally, such as while clearing land for agriculture or plantation, Abadi stated.
He also highlighted that fire can erupt since people throw cigarette butts or firecrackers that cause dry grass or leaves to easily catch fire.
Hence, Abadi appealed to residents to avoid actions that can trigger fires since currently, the winds had been strong in the East Nusa Tenggara region.
"If there is a fire spot, it can spread quickly due to strong winds. Hence, it should be avoided," he remarked.
Related news: BMKG forecasts higher potential of forest, land fires in 2022