Indonesia: Hot spots reappear in Riau as dry season approaches

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 21 Feb 17;

While other parts of Indonesia are experiencing flooding and heavy downpours, Riau is bracing for the dry season as a number of hot spots have been detected across the province.

According to the Pekanbaru Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG) Terra and Aqua satellites, 12 hot spots have been detected in Riau.

Four hot spots were detected in Tanah Putih district in Rokan Hilir regency, three in Siak Sri Indrapura and Sungai Apit districts in Siak regency, two in Mandah district in Indragiri Hilir regency, two in Bunut and Kuala Kampar districts in Pelalawan regency and one in Tapung district in Kampar regency.

“Of the 12 hot spots, seven of them were considered hot spots with a confidence level of 70 percent,” said head of data and information division at BMKG Pekanbaru, Slamet Riyadi, on Tuesday.

Slamet said the number of hot spots in the province on Tuesday had increased from the previous day, which recorded seven hot spots.

“As predicted, the first cycle of the dry season in Riau will occur from mid-February to mid-March. The hot spot reappearance marks the beginning of the dry season,” he added.

Separately, Riau joint task force chief Brig. Gen. Nurendi has called on his personnel to work hand-in-hand with local authorities to handle forest fires as the dry season approaches. (trw)

Riau BMKG Records 12 Hotspots
Tempo 21 Feb 16;

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency Station in Pekanbaru stated that the Tera and Aqua satellite has recorded 12 hotspots believed to indicate forest fire in a number of regions in Riau. The number is higher compared to previous days, when the satellite only recorded six hotspots.

"The hotspots were monitored on 7:00 AM [Western Indonesia Time]," said BMKG Pekanbaru Chief Sugarin on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

Sugarin asserted that Rokal Hilir remains as the largest contributor to the number of hotspots with four hotspots, followed by Siak (three hotspots), Indragiri Hilir (two hotspots), Pelalawan (two hotspots), and Kampar (one hotspot).

Sugarin added that seven of the hotspots will potentially turn into forest fires.

Sugarin explained that in general, Riau is experiencing sunny weather with occurrences of occasional overcast, while light to medium intensity rain followed by thunderstorm and gale wind occurred in Central Riau.

Sugarin said that forest fires have been happening in several regions in the province within the last week. Around 20 hectares of peatland in Tanah Putih and Rokan Hilir were on fire, along with peatland in Kermutan and Teluk Meranti in Pelalawan Regency.