Indonesia: House to Summon Environment Minister Over Recurring Wildfires

Alin Almanar Jakarta Globe 20 Sep 16;

Jakarta. The House of Representatives will summon Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar later this week to inquire about the issue of recurring forest fires, a lawmaker said on Tuesday (20/09).

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), more than 10,500 hotspots were detected in Sumatra and Kalimantan this year.

Last month, the wildfires prompted House Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, to form a special committee for land and forest fires.

"We will dig deeper into what has been the main cause of the recurrence," committee chairman Benny Harman said. "The minister has confirmed that she will attend our hearing on Thursday."

The governors of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, where most of the hotspots have been detected, have already raised forest fire emergency alerts for their provinces as the dry season will reach its peak this month.

The BNPB has deployed five water-bombing helicopters and three aircraft to conduct weather modification procedures in Riau.