Since President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) is concerned with this issue, there should be regular patrols (to prevent the establishment of hot spots).
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lieutenant General Suharyanto handed over fire fighting equipment to the Riau Provincial Government here on Wednesday to tackle forest and land fires.

"The Riau Forest and Land Fires Task Force should continue to carry out routine preparedness assemblies every week. Since President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) is concerned with this issue, there should be regular patrols (to prevent the establishment of hot spots),” he remarked.

The equipment included 11 main pumps, 22 hose pumps, 44 portable pumps, 231 hose units, 88 nozzles, 88 Y-connectors, 220 packages of personal protective equipment, as well as 11 water tanks with a capacity of 5,000 liters each.

The BNPB head also asked the task force to regularly review weather predictions, hot spots, and peat groundwater levels.

The information regarding those aspects can be obtained from the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Environment and Forestry Ministry, as well as the National Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency (BRGM).

"The task force must list the needs and ensure the readiness of all personnel, as well as make sure of the availability of equipment and logistics for land and air operations,” Suharyanto stated.

If necessary, the regional government can immediately ask for assistance from the central government, he added.

Governor of Riau Syamsuar said that a number of Forest and Land Fires Task Force Posts had been established, starting from the provincial, district, sub-district, to village levels, especially in the regions which are prone to fires.

“In addition, we also use Riau Regional Police Lancang Kuning (forest and land fires prevention) dashboard, as this application is very helpful to detect hot spots," he noted.

His party carries out early fire detection, as well as deploys the officers of the task force to directly check hot spots in the field, thus the task force can quickly and precisely extinguish the fires so they will not spread.

Furthermore, the Riau Provincial Government implements a routine and integrated patrol, as well as educates the community to not clear areas by burning the land.

Syamsuar also said that his party had prepared the budgets and ensured that the infrastructure to handle the disaster functions properly.

His staff also improved coordination and cooperation with military, police, business actors, community leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, academics, mass media, and volunteers.

In addition, the government carried out the monitoring of weather modification technology (TMC) over fire-prone areas to prevent forest and land fires.

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Translator: Frislidia, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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