Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has carried out weather modification to cause artificial rain in South Kalimantan province to deal with forest and land fires triggered by drought in the region.

The weather modification in the region will be carried out until October 8, 2023, BNPB representative Captain Achmad Nur Wahyudi informed here on Friday.

For the operation, BNPB is using a Cessna C208B/PK-SNS aircraft piloted by Captain Rizky and his crew who will spread around one thousand kilograms of salt, or NaCl, he said.

According to him, BNPB will spread the salt in the skies of Banjar, Tapin, and Tanah Bambu Districts, as well as Banjarbaru City, to create artificial rain.

A second flight will be operated to spread the same weight of salt in Banjar, Hulu Sungai Selatan, Hulu Sungai Utara, and Tabalong districts.

"Hopefully, this effort can succeed as planned," Wahyudi said.

He explained that the weather modification operation is based on the South Kalimantan Governor's instruction.

Several parties, including the provincial government, the district/city disaster mitigation agencies (BPBDs), the Indonesian Military, the Police (TNI/Polri), as well as the public and local fire departments, have been working together to tackle hotspots in the province.

They have been striving to put out the fires by any means, including through land and with water bombing by helicopters.

Since early 2023, the South Kalimantan provincial government has been carrying out mitigation efforts to overcome serious problems that could arise during the dry season, such as forest and land fires and drought.

The mitigation efforts have included opening water channel gates, flowing water through existing canals, and creating new canals to wet potential fire spots.

For wetting vulnerable land, the provincial government has collaborated with the TNI/Polri and the district governments.

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Translator: Sukarli, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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