Dumai, Riau (ANTARA News) - Tens of hectares of peat land have been gutted by fire at Medang Kampai, Dumai, Riau Province, over the past six days.

"Until now, the local authorities and land owners have not tried to put out the fire. The fire is getting bigger," Sugianto, a local resident said here Monday.

Sugianto suspected that the peat land was burned on purpose because he had seen three people starting a fire in the area a week ago, and the fire had been left unattended.

Hamzah, chairman of the People Care For Fire team at Medang Kampai sub district, was upset that the local authorities did not try to extinguish the fire.

"The government has just made promises. But so far no one has been assigned to anticipate the spreadin of the fire," he said.

Head of the Dumai forestry service Hadiono at a separate place said he had not yet received a report about the peat land fire. He said he would coordinate with local authorities to inspect the reported fire.

Meanwhile, the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Agency (NOAA)`s Satellite 18 had detected seven hotspots in Riau, according to Riau`s meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency (BMKG).

"There are seven hotspots in Sumatra, and all of them are in Riau, namely five in Rokan Hilir District, and two in Bengkalis, Sanya Gautami, a Riau BMKG analyst, said here over last weekend.

The number of hotspots had dropped significantly from a few days ago when 36 - 56 hotspots were detected in Sumatra, mostly in Riau island, he said.

The hotspots were previously not detected due to clouds over Riau.

"At the time, none of the hotspots was detected in Riau. But, starting Friday (July 1), hotspots were seen again," she said.

Until the next two days, most of Riau areas hardly has rains. "However, in several places there will be possibilities to local rains with low intensity," she said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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