Indonesia: Helicopter drops 40 tons of water to extinguish Riau fires

Antara 5 Jun 17;

Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - Riau Provinces forest and land fire task force has deployed an MI-8 helicopter to drop 40 tons of water to extinguish forest fires in Kampar District, spokesperson of the Roesmin Nurjadin airbase Maj. Sus Rizwar stated.

"We conducted water bombing 10 times on several hotspots on Sunday," Rizwar revealed in the provinces capital city, Pekanbaru.

Fires in some major hotspots were successfully extinguished after three hours of water bombing operations.

The air forces Super Puma helicopter had earlier detected fire at the first hotspot on Sunday afternoon, the spokesperson added.

Following the report, the task force continued conducting patrols in two different districts: Rokan Hulu and Kampar.

During the patrols, the task force was assisted by the province Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency in mapping out other hotspots in the areas.

"After extinguishing fires in Rokan Hulu District, the task force received a report on fires in Kampar District. We have coordinated with the local authority to take immediate action," he remarked while adding that the task force, military, and other stakeholders will continue to maintain coordination in battling fires that potentially rage during the dry season.

The air force has readied five helicopters, including MI-171, MI-172, MI-8, and S-61, at the Roesmin Noerjadin airbase in the province, according to Rizwar.

"We planned to deploy the helicopters at three main hotspots, including Dumai City and Indragiri Hulu," Head of the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency Edwar Sanger remarked.

He further explained that the National Disaster Management Agency and the provincial governments had established coordination to tackle fires, which likely rage during the dry season in June and November.

Earlier last month, the climatology agency had spotted seven hotspots in the provinces several areas, including Pelalawan, Kuantan Sengingi, Indragiri Hilir, and Siak.(*)

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