Indonesia: 73 hotspots detected across Sumatra Island

Antara 24 Jul 17;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News)- The meteorological, climatology and geophysics agency (BMKG) has detected 73 hotspots in 10 provinces across Sumatra Island, on Monday morning.

Of the total 73 hotspots, 14 were found in North Sumatra, 13 in Riau, 10 in Aceh, and eight respectively in Jambi, South Sumatra and Bengkulu, six in West Sumatra, four in Bangka Belitung, and one each in Riau Islands and Lampung, Sukisno, head of the Pekanbaru meteorology office, said.

In Riau Province, the 13 hotspots were detected in districts of Pelalawan (three), Rokan Hilir (five), Bengkalis (one), Indragiri Hilir (one), Indragiri Hulu (one), and Rokan Hulu (one).

Of the 13, five of them were believed to come from wildfires.

Since early this year, the Riau provincial administration had declared a forest fire emergency status to optimize forest fire prevention efforts.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has deployed five helicopters to carry out water bombing to extinguish forest and plantation fires.

Despite the country being relatively free of haze smog arising from forest fires last year, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged all stakeholders to undertake early preventive measures against wildfires.

The head of state has reminded ministers and regional authorities to remain vigilant against forest fires, starting from early this year.(*)

Wildfires gutted over 60 hectares of Aceh forest
Antara 24 Jul 17;

Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA News) - Wildfires have gutted more than 60 hectares of forest and bush areas in West Aceh District, Aceh Darussalam Province, due to drought.

Wildfires had spread to wider areas in the western coast of Sumatras northernmost province, Yusmadi, head of the Aceh disaster mitigation office, said here, Monday.

He opined that several local farmers had started the fires to clear farming land during the ongoing drought.

"This is caused by farmers and not companies. They cleared land and burnt dried leaves, but the fires spread deep into the forest," he remarked.

Last week, Captain Sudarsono, commander of the Johan Pahlawan regional military command, had said that around 50 hectares of peatland area in West Aceh was gutted by fires.

Meanwhile, the meteorological, climatology and geophysics agency has detected 73 hotspots in 10 provinces across Sumatra Island on Monday morning.

Of the total 73 hotspots, 14 were found in North Sumatra; 13 in Riau; 10 in Aceh; eight respectively in Jambi, South Sumatra, and Bengkulu; six in West Sumatra; four in Bangka Belitung; and one each in Riau Islands and Lampung, Sukisno, head of the Pekanbaru meteorology office, said.(*)

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