... South Kalimantan is now in the state of highest alert for wildfires."
Banjarmasin (ANTARA News) - Authorities of South Kalimantan have declared the highest alert status for wildfires that have been proliferating due to extreme dry weather conditions over the past several weeks.

On Thursday (July 23), 19 hotspots were detected, with the number increasing every day, Head of the Forest and Plantation Fire Unit of the Natural Resources Conservation Office of South Kalimantan Zulkarnain said here on Saturday.

"Due to extreme weather conditions, South Kalimantan is now in the state of highest alert for wildfires," he added.

Personnel of forest fire units in the three districts of Tanah Bumbu, Tanah Laut, and Banjar are focusing on dousing the existing flames, Zulkarnain affirmed, adding that most of the existing fires in South Kalimantan are in peat lands.

Moreover, the Indonesian government is gearing up to face the effects of the predicted weak to moderate El Nino, which could reduce precipitation by 40 to 80 percent.

This natural phenomenon will affect the provinces of Sumatra, East Java, Bali, West and East Nusa Tenggara, and Papua in particular, from June to November this year.

In addition, hundreds of hotspots indicating wildfires were reported in some provinces of Sumatra Island, which is currently experiencing a dry spell, with temperatures soaring to 35 degrees Celsius.

Based on data from the NOAA-18 Satellite, as many as 1,470 hotspots were detected across Sumatra Island in the period between January 1 and June 16. Of the total, 621 were found in Riau province.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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