Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Thousands of soldiers have been sent to fight remaining forest and land fires in six locations in Riau province.

"Based on satellite monitoring at around 4pm on Wednesday six fires were still seen and have the potential to cause haze in several regions and they would be immediately put out. Forces have been sent to the locations," the commander of the task force dealing with Riau haze disaster, Brigadier General Teguh Rahardjo, said to Antara here on Thursday.

Teguh, who is also the chief of the 031/Wirabima Military Resort, said the fires based on NOAA satellite monitoring were found in Dumai, Bengkalis and Pelalawan districts.

"There are three fires in Dumai, two in Bengkalis and one in Pelalawan," he said.

Earlier, the Indonesian military (TNI) had deployed 1,400 personnel to overcome haze problem caused by peat land fires in Riau.

TNI Commander Admiral Agus Suhartono had also ordered the deployment of TNI experts to help tackle the problem.

The 1,400 TNI members deployed to fight fires in the province came from army special unit Kopassus, Marine Corps and army reserve command Kostrad.

Teguh said in addition to thousands of military forces from Jakarta all forces in the region had also been ordered to participate in the fire fighting efforts.

"The army personnel have worked maximally and successfully put out fires in several areas," he said.

He said the number of hotspots in Riau had dropped significantly after quite heavy rains fell in several areas.

According to the Meteorology, Geophysics and Climatology Agency (BMKG) station in Pekanbaru, the number of fires in Riau reached 263 but later dropped to 84 on Tuesday and six later on Wednesday.


Reporter: Fazar Muhardi
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
Copyright © ANTARA 2013