Palangka Raya (ANTARA) - Deputy Minister of Environment and Forestry Alue Dohong, on Sunday, joined Vice Governor of Central Kalimantan Edy Pratowo in reviewing the efforts in handling land and forest fires in the Tumbang Nusa area, Pulang Pisau District.

"I would like to appreciate the Central Kalimantan provincial government and the forest and land fires task force for their significant efforts to deal with the forest and land fires in collaboration with all parties, including municipal and district governments and the community," Deputy Minister Dohong remarked.

He then spoke of having held a discussion with Vice Governor Pratowo and related stakeholders to determine the next steps for handling the fires.

Furthermore, the deputy minister noted that the Tumbang Nusa area is currently in an alarming situation. Therefore, he called on all parties to optimize all available resources, including personnel, funds, and equipment, to put an end to the situation.

Meanwhile, Deputy Governor Pratowo confirmed that the Pulang Pisau district government has declared an alert status as a result of the fires.

"Pulang Pisau District has declared an alert status for forest and land fires. Several other districts will emulate the decision," he pointed out.

Pratowo further explained that if at least two districts declared similar status, the Central Kalimantan provincial government would elevate the provincial status from alert to emergency response. Palangka Raya, the capital city of the province, has declared an emergency response status.

He said that his government considers declaring a province-wide emergency response status on the basis of the deteriorating air quality on account of smog resulting from the forest and land fires blazing in a number of regions in Central Kalimantan.

"If the status was declared, the provincial government would immediately push for the utilization of the unexpected expenditures fund to help handle the forest and land fires," he stated.

Acting Head of Pulang Pisau District, Nunu Andriani, among others, was also present during the deputy minister's visit.

Translator: Muhammad A, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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