Riau firefighters extinguish 60 wildfires during January-July period

Riau firefighters extinguish 60 wildfires during January-July period

Motorcyclists without wearing protective breathing masks when crossing Jalan Yos Sudarso smog shrouded forest and land fires in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Monday (July 27, 2015). (ANTARA/Rony Muharrman) ()

The depth of peatland in the two locations reaches up to seven meters."
Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - During the January-July 2015 period, Riaus firefighters have put out 60 fires that have razed forest, peatland, and plantation areas.

Of the 60 cases, two were very difficult, and it took days to extinguish them, Head of the Pekanbaru disaster mitigation and fire brigade office Burman Gurning stated here on Sunday.

The two reported wildfires gutted down peatland areas in Parit Indah and Payung Sekaki.

"The depth of peatland in the two locations reaches up to seven meters," he revealed.

In fact, the fire razing the 2.5-hectare peatland area in front of the Payung Sekaki sub-district heads office has not yet been totally put out, he noted.

In the meantime, Acting Governor of Riau Arsyadjuliandi Rachman earlier this week reported about the situation of the wildfires to Forestry and Environmental Affairs Minister Siti Nurbaya in Jakarta.

Rachman met the minister on July 24 to report about the condition of the wildfire-hit province, Darusman, the spokesman of the Riau Province administration, noted here, Sunday.

Over the past week, Pekanbaru city, the capital of Riau, was shrouded by haze arising from Jambi.

Some 200 hectares of peatland in Gambut Jaya Kumpeh village, Muarojambi District, have been razed down by fires, which are now approaching residential areas.

In Riau Province, more than one thousand hectares of forest area were gutted down by fires, and some 1,022 people fell ill due to air pollution.

Edward Sanger, the head of the Riau disaster mitigation office, stated that the number of hotspots in the province has decreased due to the rains and efforts to put out the fires.

A Sikorsky helicopter has arrived to assist in the efforts to extinguish the wildfires, he noted, adding that two major plantation companies have also provided assistance in tackling the blaze.
(Uu.F001/INE/KR-BSR/O001)

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