The Jakarta Post
Riau Deputy Governor Arsyadjuliandi Rachman said he had deployed teams to extinguish forest fires in the worst-hit areas of eastern coastal Riau, in an effort to control haze clouds that may drift to neighboring countries.
'Hundreds of police personnel have been deployed in Rokan Hilir regency. The Air Force's Special Forces [PASKAS] officers were deployed in Dumai, Army officers in Bengkalis and Public Order Agency [Satpol PP] officers in Siak. They are still fighting to extinguish the fires,' Arsyadjuliandi said.
Arsyadjuliandi, who was recently appointed to head the Haze Emergency Task Force, said the teams were equipped for water bombing with three helicopters, and also had a Hercules plane to create artificial rain through weather modification.
He said the administration had instructed regents and mayors across the province to set up organized teams to handle the haze and forest fire emergency in their respective regions.
Separately, Riau Police spokesman Adj. Snr. Comr. Guntur Aryo Tejo revealed that the police had detained 59 suspects since April for their alleged involvement in forest burning and land clearing.
Guntur said the suspects were being detained in seven regencies and cities, while evidence including illegal logs, lighters and remainders of fuel were also being held. 'Four dossiers of those among the 59 suspects have been declared complete and [the cases] will soon be brought to court,' he added.
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