Indonesia: 44 hotspots detected in Musi Rawas, S Sumatra, during January-July

Antara 27 Jul 18;

Musi Rawas, S Sumatra (ANTARA News) - As many as 44 hotspots had been detected in Musi Rawas District, South Sumatra Province, during the January-July period.

The hotspots were found in 14 sub-districts in Musi Rawas, Paisol, Head of the Musi Rawas disaster mitigation office, said here, Thursday.

Among the affected sub-districts were Muara Kelingi, Muara Lakitan, Muara Beliti, and Selangit.

However, he believed that the hotspots did not come from forest fires but from chimneys of state oil and gas company Pertamina and hot zinc.

None of the hotspot came from forest fires, he noted, adding that if there is one, he would closely monitor and check them with the cooperation of the military and police.

Meanwhile, the government is preparing a number of anticipatory measures to overcome the potential of forest and land fires, ahead of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

"The steps have been many and easily `manageable," Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar stated, after a coordination meeting on anticipation of forest and land fires ahead of the Asian Games in the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Building, in Jakarta, on July 24.

She explained that the anticipatory steps to prevent forest and land fires are mostly carried out in South Sumatra, such as water bombing and weather modification for rain.

In addition, she added that the government has also set up various surveillance posts in certain hotspots by providing guidance to farmers on the method of planting oil palm ahead of the planting season and arresting those who burn land.

Besides, the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) will drill 200 artesian wells in six villages in Ogan Komering Ilir, a land fire-prone area that could spread the haze to Asian Games venues in Jakabaring sport complex in South Sumatra`s city of Palembang.

"There will be 200 artesian wells. We are focusing on areas that could affect the Asian Games. Based on analysis, we have started to build (artesian wells) in six villages in OKI (Ogan Komering Ilir), which could spread the haze to Jakabaring," BRG`s Deputy of Construction, Operation and Maintenance Alue Dohong remarked here on Wednesday.

reporting by Marjamin/Indra
Editor: Heru Purwanto

Disaster Mitigation Agency assures Asian Games will be free from smoke
Antara 27 Jul 18;

Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei. (ANTARA /Rosa Panggabean)

Raja Ampat, W Papua (ANTARA News) - Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei has assured the public that the 18th Asian Games will be free from smoke from land and forest fires.

"Both the central and regional governments have collaborated to handle and prevent smoke. The cooperation is aimed at assuring the public that there will be no longer smoke disaster in the rest of the year particularly during the Asian Games," he said on the sidelines of the Asian Games 2018 torch in Raja Ampat, West Papua province.

The central and regional governments have taken strategic steps to prevent hotspots in the areas vulnerable to land and forest fires, he said.

The steps include familiarizing the public with the programs, mobilizing officers to conduct land and air patrols, mapping disaster-prone areas and applying weather modifying technology to combat fires. he said.

"We have monitored hotspots so that we will not be late to extinguish fires in peatland," he said.

Should fires happen, the government will be ready to conduct land operations involving the military, police, regional disaster mitigation boards and all relevant parties.

Reported by Michael Siahaan
Editor: Heru Purwanto