Palangka Raya, C Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Deputy Minister of Environment and Forestry Alue Dohong emphasized that water sources are the key to handling forest and land fires in Central Kalimantan.

He conveyed this statement after meeting with Central Kalimantan Deputy Governor Edy Pratowo in Palangka Raya City on Sunday.

"We must add more (water) pumping machines and borewells because the key is water sources," he said.

Dohong directly checked the forest and land fire handling in the field, precisely in the Tumbang Nusa and Tanjung Taruna areas.

"Many boreholes that have been built are still functional, as I saw in Tanjung Taruna, which continues to be operated," he said.

The deputy minister said that all resources, including human resources, energy, budget, and equipment, in the province must be optimized in dealing with the emergency situation.

"All components must come down together to overcome forest and land fires," he said.

He said that he instructed the ministry's staff to send 25 units of water pumping machines and hoses from Jakarta to help with the situation. The assistance arrived in Palangka Raya at 4 p.m. local time.

If the handling of fire in Tumbang Nusa, Kameloh Baru, and Tanjung Taruna can be carried out optimally, then smoke flying to Palangka Raya City can be significantly reduced, he stated.

In addition, he said that the ministry continues to supervise the conditions in the field, including potential violations.

"The ministry's Directorate General of Law Enforcement has installed police lines in some land concessions. I ask for legal proceedings if there is negligence in palm oil plantations and other regions," Dohong said.

The Environment and Forestry Ministry has been encouraging forest and land fire control activities, including prevention, extinguishing, and post-countermeasures, especially in September and October or during the peak of the dry season.

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Translator: M Hidayat, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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