Jakarta (ANTARA) - Banjarmasin City's Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) recorded that 33 hotspots indicating wildfires had been detected from June 26 to October 3, according to the agency's head, Husni Thamrin.

The hotspots ravaged around 5.3 hectares of land but owing to the small scale of fires and easy access to road, efforts to put them out could have been made, he noted here, Saturday.

Thamrin expressed his ongoing concerns over the recurrence of hotspots due to the careless approach of several residents persisting in burning their domestic waste, as the fire could engulf dried grass.

According to a recent statement by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the wildfires that struck in South Kalimantan Province had affected local residents, including those in the city of Banjarmasin.

Apart from affecting Banjarmasin and its outskirts over the past week, the haze, caused by land and forest fires, had also affected those in the city of Banjarbaru and districts of Barito Kuala and Banjar, he stated.

In anticipation of respiratory diseases, the Banjarmasin city government has activated online classes for students of early childhood education centers (PAUD) as well as elementary and junior high schools, he remarked.

Related news: BMKG detects 252 hotspots in 7 East Kalimantan districts

ANTARA had reported earlier that Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) projected that this year's dry season will follow the same pattern as the one observed in 2019.

A total of 28 percent of regions in Indonesia, which include 194 seasonal zones (ZOM) determined by the BMKG, have been forecast to experience the dry season from June this year.

BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati stated that a strengthened El Nino phenomenon due to the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) could trigger a drought during the dry season in Indonesia.

Taking note of the serious impact of the El Nino climate pattern on several regions in Indonesia, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) is collaborating with ministries and institutions to apply weather modification technology (TMC) to extinguish fires and support other needs.

In the last two months, TMC has been implemented continuously in Riau, West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), West Java, Jambi, Jakarta, South Kalimantan, and South Sumatra, BNPB head, Lieutenant General Suharyanto, noted in a recent statement.

Related news: Be aware of new hotspots in East Kalimantan: BMKG

Related news: BNPB tracking groundwater levels in peat areas to prevent fires

Translator: Abdul F, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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