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Jakarta Post

Riau blanketed by haze from land, forest fires

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru   /   Tue, June 30, 2015   /  07:04 pm
Riau blanketed by haze from land, forest fires (Tempo)

(Tempo)

The light haze currently blanketing Dumai and several other cities in Riau, namely Bengkalis, Pelalawan, Pekanbaru and Rokan Hilir, was caused by land and forest fires both from areas within Riau and from other provinces, according to the head of the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), Edwar Sanger.

'€œLand and forest fires have also occurred in Jambi and South Sumatra. Riau is receiving smoke from those two provinces, as winds are currently blowing from south to north,'€ said Edwar.

A land and forest fire post at Roesmin Nurjadin Airport in Pekanbaru, he said, had continued to extinguish fire spots through land operations and weather modification technology.

'€œWhile it is still in the medium category, the air quality in Riau has begun to worsen; therefore, our task force will strive to overcome fires in all areas, to avoid negative impacts on people'€™s health and activities,'€ said Edwar.

Based on Terra and Aqua satellite data collected by the Pekanbaru chapter of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), two hot spots were detected in Dumai on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, 15 hot spots were detected in Dumai'€™s neighboring regency, Bengkalis. Four hot spots were found in Siak while Rokan Hilir and Meranti Islands had three hot spots. One hot spot was found in Meranti Islands.

'€œIn total, 45 hot spots have been detected in Riau, 17 of which are in Pelalawan

regency. Three hot spots have been found in Indragiri Hulu,'€ said BMKG Pekanbaru'€™s data and information head, Slamet Riyadi.

'€œMeanwhile, 27 of the 45 hot spots have been indicated as fire spots with a reliability level of more than 70 percent. Pelalawan has 13 fire spots, followed by Bengkalis [11], Dumai [2] and Indragiri Hulu [1],'€ he said, adding that the high number of fires and hot spots in Riau was due to low rainfall and high temperatures in the province. (ebf)(+++)