Indonesia: 56 hotspots detected in Riau

Antara 3 Apr 16;

Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) station in Pekanbaru detected 56 wild fire hotspots in eight districts and municipalities in the Riau province on Saturday (April 2).

"Based on the Terra and Aqua satellites reports this morning, 27 hotspots were detected in Bengkalis and 12 were detected in Meranti," Head of the BMKG Station, Sugarin, said.

Meanwhile, five hotspots were detected in Pelalawan, two in Rokan Hilir, three in Dumai, two in Siak, four in Indragiri Hilir and one hotspot was detected in Indragiri Hulu, he said.

Overall, the satellite detected 79 hotspots across Sumatra island, of which 56 were found in Riau, 18 in Riau Islands and five in North Sumatra.

Sugarin believed that 30 of the 56 hotspots in Riau indicated forest and land fires with a confidence rate of above 70 percent.

He said 15 of the 30 hotspots were found in Bengkalis.

A total of 63 hotspots were detected across Sumatra Island on Thursday, including 16 in Riau Islands Province, nine in Aceh, 14 in North Sumatra, and two in West Sumatra.

On March 7, the Riau provincial government declared an emergency alert status, indicating the need to expedite the efforts to prevent and handle forest and land fires following the discovery of hotspots.

The status, which will remain effective for three months, is aimed at expediting the measures to handle and prevent forest and land fires.

Riaus district administrations of Meranti, Bengkalis, Dumai, Rokan Hilir, Siak and Pelalawan had earlier also declared the emergency alert status.

(Reported by Fazar Muhardi & Anggi Romadhon/Uu.S12/INE/KR-BSR)

56 Hot Spots Detected in Riau
Jakarta Globe 2 Apr 16;

Jakarta. Satellites have detected 56 hot spots in eight districts across Riau province, an official said on Saturday (02/04), warning that current conditions in the region are optimal for the spread of land and forest fires.

Most of the hot spots were detected in Bengkalis (with 27) and Meranti (12), according to Sugarin, head of the Pekanbaru Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

Of the 56 hot spots, 30 indicated that there were land and forest fires with a level of credibility of above 70 percent, Sugarin added.

"We warn that current high temperatures can cause fires to spread easily," Sugarin said, adding that strong winds in the area could also hamper efforts to extinguish them.

In total, 79 hot spots were detected around Sumatra island, with 18 in Riau Islands province and five in North Sumatra.

Land and forest fires have been an annually recurring problem in Indonesia over the past 10 years. Parts of the country last year saw what observers described as the worst fires on record.

Last year's fires destroyed vegetation on millions of hectares of land, afflicting more than half a million people with health problems and resulting in billions of dollars in economic losses.