Minister: forest fire in Riau happens on massive scale

Minister: forest fire in Riau happens on massive scale

Forestry Minister, Zulkifli Hasan. (PHOTO ANTARA/ Agus Setyawan)

I strongly condemn the perpetrators...
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan reported that perpetrators had started forest and land fires in Riau provincial districts and cities on a massive scale.

"I strongly condemn the perpetrators of the (forest and land fires)," the minister told the press here on Tuesday.

Zulkifli had visited Riau to directly monitor the land and forest fires in several regions, including the Rokan Hilir district. The minister had also witnessed the prosecution for the perpetrators of forest fires by the regional police.

According to him, the forest and land fires had affected a large number of Indonesian people.

Zulkifli further stated that many people especially in Riau have been suffering from diseases, such as shortness of breath, which had been caused by smoke pollution, and even children have failed to go to school.

"Millions of people have been undergoing hardship and airplanes have been cancelled due to the criminal acts of the perpetrators," he added.