"I ask the National Disaster Mitigation Agency to prioritize prevention. It should take action before fires flare up. This is the most effective measure," the vice president said during a coordinating meeting on forest fire mitigation efforts, here on Tuesday.
The meeting discussed the current forest fires that produced smog in a number of provinces across Indonesia, including in South Sumatra, Jambi, Riau, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.
The wild fires and subsequent smog threatened the publics health and transportation safety, he added.
BNPB Head Syamsul Maarif shared the vice presidents concern, saying that dealing with forest fire problem was urgent.
This year, forest fires had occurred since February, when the country still experienced rainy season. In the past, forest fires happened only during June-October period, in dry season, according to him.
The number of hotspots of forest and plantation fires detected on Tuesday was 40 in South Sumatra, 41 in West Kalimantan, and 41 in Central Kalimantan.
The visibility in Pekanbaru (Riau) was five kilometers, in Palembang (South Sumatra) four kilometers, in Pontianak (West Kalimantan) five kilometers, Palangkaraya (Central Kalimantan) four kilometers, Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan) three kilometers, and Samarinda (East Kalimantan) five kilometers.