Indonesia: Hot weather may spark fires in N. Sumatra

Jakarta Post 28 Jun 16;

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported on Monday that temperatures in the eastern part of North Sumatra were rising and may lead to new hot spots in forests.

Mega Sirait, an official at the BMKG office in Kualanamu, said that the rise in temperature was caused by east monsoon winds that carry dry weather from Australia and cause rain in the region.

“The eastern part of North Sumatra is now entering the dry season. Temperatures can reach 36 degrees Celsius during the day, and 26 degrees C at night,” Mega told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Temperatures in the province usually peak between June and July, he went on, and people take the opportunity to burn land and forests to open new plantations. So far this year, however, the agency has discovered no significant hot spots caused by burning.

“We have only detected hot spots in Padang Lawas regency,” Mega revealed.

Medan BMKG office information officer Sunadi urged residents to reduce outdoor activities in order to stay healthy during Ramadhan.

“For those who are fasting, the hot weather is exhausting,” he said.

Sunardi said it was better for residents to remain at home to avoid dehydration and migraines caused by the heat.

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