Indonesia: Fires force closure of hiking trails leading to three Central Java mountains

The Jakarta Post 13 Sep 18;

Authorities have closed all hiking trails leading up to the peaks of Mount Lawu, Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing in Central Java on account of land and forest fires that have ravaged the three areas over the last few days.

Although it has been some time since the fires started, officials have not been able to put out the fires on Mt. Sindoro and Mt. Sumbing owing to strong winds, dry weather and challenging terrain.

Acting Temanggung Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Gito Walngadi said the fire on Mt. Sumbing had started in the Kecepit forest resort, which is located in Gelapansari village, Bulu district, Temanggung regency, Central Java.

“Fire spots were detected at 6:15 p.m. on Monday,” he said on Tuesday as quoted by

Meanwhile, a fire was reported on Saturday on the nearby Mt. Sindoro. The fire reportedly started in the Kwadungan forest resort in Canggal village, Candiroto district, Temanggung and had since spread to the nearby Sigedang forest resort.

Gito said that so far, the fire on Mt. Sindoro had burned 245 hectares of land and vegetation in the area.

Central Java BNPB daily executive head Sarwa Pramana had also instructed his subordinates in Temanggung, Wonosobo and Magelang to reach out to pawang hujan(rain shaman) to call for rain and help extinguish the fire that burned through Mt. Sindoro-Sumbing.

In the meantime, the fire that burned forests on Mt. Lawu was contained by officials on Tuesday. According to the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Twitter account, 150 personnel from the Central Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), state-owned forestry company Perum Perhutani, police, military and volunteers worked together to put out the fire, which was believed to have started in the Tlogo Dringgo forest resort in the Gondosuli village, Tawangmangu district, Karanganyar regency.

The blaze on Mount Lawu is believed to have been started by a hiker who made a bonfire in the Candi Cetho area in Karanganyar regency. Strong winds then caused the fire spread to the other parts of the forest located in Magetan and Ngawi regencies. (ris/ahw)

Four hotspots detected in Mount Argopuro
Antara 13 Sep 18;

Jember, E Java, Sept 13 (ANTARA News)- Four hotspots were detected in Mount Argopuro area located in Krucil, Probolinggo, East Java Province, on Wednesday.

Out of 299 hotspots detected across Indonesia yesterday, only three to four were found in Mount Argopuro area, Setyo Utomo, head of the Jember natural resources conservation office, said here on Thursday.

The conservation office has dispatched four officers to check the hotspots. However, it will take them at least two days to reach the location of the hotspots, he added.

The East Java natural resources conservation office has indefinitely closed the climbing track of Mount Argopuro since Aug 10, 2018, due to prolonged drought that could trigger wildfires.

Mount Argopuro is located within the Hyang High land Sanctuary, which covers parts of the districts of Probolinggo, Situbondo, Bondowoso, and Jember.

The mountain has the longest tract on Java Island and one of the longest in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, a forest fire on Mount Sindoro in Temanggung District, Central Java Province, which has destroyed around 156 hectares of land, has been extinguished, a spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) revealed.

"However, the mountain`s climbing trails remain closed," BNPB Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho noted in his Twitter account that Antara quoted in Temanggung, Central Java, on Monday evening.

Local residents and visitors, who want to perform an annual ritual to commemorate the Javanese New Year, or commonly known as 1 Suro, are not allowed to climb the mountain for safety reasons, he noted.

The fire could likely engulf the affected areas due to the drought and strong winds, he explained, adding that the climbing trails had been closed to prevent people from climbing.

Another forest fire had earlier engulfed Mount Lawu, located on the border of Central Java and East Java Provinces, due to prolonged drought.

Reporting by Zumrotun Solichah (f001/INE)

Editor: Fardah Assegaf