Some Indonesian districts not on emergency alert for forest fires despite hotspots

Some Indonesian districts not on emergency alert for forest fires despite hotspots

Despite the existence of hotspots, some districts in Indonesia have yet to be on emergency alert for forest fires, says Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). (Photo: BNPB)

JAKARTA: Despite the detection of hotspots, some districts in Indonesia have yet to be on emergency alert for forest fires, said Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on Sunday (Aug 6).

In a statement, BNPB said the districts include those in Kapuas Hulu, Sanggau, Sintang and Landak - all in the West Kalimantan province.

West Kalimantan, however, declared an emergency alert status on a provincial level on Jul 26.

Satellite images from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) on Sunday showed there were a total of 282 hotspots across Indonesia, with 150 of them in West Kalimantan.

Hotspots were also detected in other provinces considered fire-prone areas - South Sumatra had 23, Riau 16 and Jambi with two. 

BNPB said forest fires started to appear in the Ogan Ilir regency of the South Sumatra province on Saturday. The agency deployed four helicopters to the region to conduct water bombing operations.

It added that districts that have many groups adopting the Fire Awareness Community and Village Disaster Mitigation programmes have managed to reduce hotspots this year.

"On the other hand, districts with few groups following the programmes have seen many hotspots appear in their area. This shows areas with low monitoring capability are more prone to forest fires," said BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

The peak of the dry season is expected to last until September and the threat of forest fires may increase.

Source: CNA/aa

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