Palangka Raya, C Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Since January 2023, the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) of Palangka Raya city, Central Kalimantan, has succeeded in extinguishing fires on 23.47 hectares of peatland.

"From January 2023 to June 19, we recorded that 23.47 hectares of peatland were burned. During that period, the fires were also successfully extinguished," the Chief of Palangka Raya City’s BPBD Emi Abriyani informed here on Tuesday.

The city's BPBD cooperated with some parties to handle the peatland fires.

Peatland fires in the province's capital city were spread across 4 sub-districts, Abriyani informed.

Meanwhile, 1 sub-district in the city had low risk or was free from forest and land fires, which occur during every dry season.

The 4 affected sub-districts were Pahandut, where fires were recorded on 1.83 hectares of land; followed by Jekan Raya, with 9.37 hectares; Sabangau, 9.58 hectares; and Bukit Batu, 1.25 hectares.

Rakumpit was the only sub-district that was not affected by the peatland fires.

Abriyani said that in total, there were 36 occurrences of peatland fires in the city.

"The number of incidents in each sub-district area was different," she added.

She said the BPBD strongly suspects that the fires were started intentionally by locals. However, in order to confirm this, the related authorities are conducting an investigation.

Meanwhile, the local government and community security units are facing their own challenges in combating forest and land fires as most of the burned land is peatland, and the situation has been exacerbated by the dry season and low rainfall.

The city's BPBD is also intensively educating the community through social media, face-to-face meetings, and by distributing warning leaflets.

To support the mitigation and handling of forest and land fires, Palangka Raya city BPBD is cooperating with other related parties, with 300 personnel roped in for the effort.

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Translator: Rendhik A, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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