353 hotspots of forest fires detected in Sumatra

353 hotspots of forest fires detected in Sumatra

Photo document of forest fire in Riau, Sumatra. (ANTARA/FB Anggoro)

Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - Some 353 hotspots of forest and plantation fires were detected across Sumatra Island on Wednesday.

"Based on the data received from the Terra and Aqua satellites in Sumatra this morning, 353 hotspots were detected, with the majority in South Sumatra," Head of the Pekanbaru meteorological, climatology and geophysics office Sugarin stated.

The number significantly increased from 75 hotspots recorded on the previous day.

South Sumatra had 284 hotspots, Jambi 26, Riau 24, Bangka Belitung 10, and Lampung nine hotspots.

In Riau Province, 24 hotspots were detected on Wednesday, up from four on the previous day. The hotspots were detected in Indragiri Hilir (18), Rokan Hulu (three), Pelalawan (two), and Indragiri Hulu (one).

In the meantime, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) will carry out cloud seeding operations to create artificial rain using a C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Air Force in order to extinguish the fires at the hotspots in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The exercise will be carried out throughout the month of October.

"We plan to resort to artificial rain until October," BNPBs Head of the Data Information Center and Public Relations, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, recently noted in Jakarta.

The artificial rain is one of the measures adopted by the officials in charge of extinguishing the forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

He stated that cloud seeding has been carried out in the provinces of Riau, South Sumatra, and Central Kalimantan.

"We have officials in Palembang (provincial capital of South Sumatra) where they are still inducing artificial rain," Sutopo remarked.

He added that the operation to produce artificial rain could also be conducted beyond South Sumatra, such as in Lampung and Jambi provinces, depending on the cloud conditions in those areas.