Indonesia: Lapan detects 74 hotspots across Sumatra

Antara 20 Aug 16;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Indonesias National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) has reported that the number of hotspots across Sumatra Island reached 74 on Saturday, seven more than the 67 reported a day earlier.

Of the 74 hotspots, 34 were found in Riau, 15 in South Sumatra, nine in North Sumatra, six in Bangka Belitung, five in West Sumatra, four in Lampung, and one in Aceh, Slamet Riyadi, spokesman of the Pekanbaru meteorology station, said here on Saturday.

In Riau, Rokan Hilir District had 14, Bengkalis nine, Dumai seven, Siak two, Rokan Hulu one and Indragiri Hilir one.

Of the 34 hotspots in Riau, 24 were believed to be fire spots. Of these, nine each were detected in Rokan Hilir and Bengkalis, four in Dumai and one each in Rokan Hulu and Indragiri Hilir.

An army officer from Dumai who had been helping in extinguishing the fire in Pasir Putih village, Rokan Hilir District, went missing while doing his task.

"The search effort continues and police has been involved," Colonel I Nyoman Parwata of the Wirabima/031 Military Resort Command stated.

The Commander of the Wirabima/031 Military Resort Command, Brigadier General Nurendi, has sent 100 military personnel to fight the wildfires.(*)

Military officers build barriers to prevent wildfires from spreading
Antara 20 Aug 16;

Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - A number of military officers were deployed to build barriers to prevent wildfires in Selakau, Sambas District, West Kalimantan Province, from spreading to a wider area.

"Now we are making land partitions to prevent wildfires in Selaku from spreading to North Singkawang", Captain Taufik Wiramansyah, commander of the Seadau military unit, said here on Saturday.

The efforts to extinguish the forest, peatland and plantation fires involved military and police personnel, as well as local inhabitants.

In Sedau, the wildfires have razed some 100 hectares of area in Semelagi (North Singkawang) covering 50 ha, Pangmilang (South Singkawang, 30 ha), and Senggang (East Singkawang, 20 ha).

As the weather in West Kalimantan is now hot, Captain Wiramansyah urged local farmers not to clear land by using slash and burn methods.

He also urged smokers not to throw cigarette butts into peatland and forest areas, since they could cause fires.

The commander said those causing fires intentionally or unintentionally would be prosecuted.

Due to forest, peatland and plantation fires, Singkawang town was shrouded in haze on Saturday morning. (*)

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