The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has called on relevant government agencies to intensify their efforts to extinguish the forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan that have affected transportation and the health of people in those regions.
Chairman of the National Body for Disaster Management (BNPB) Syamsul Maarif said on Friday that the President, among others, had called for establishing more monitoring posts in a number of places in Sumatra and Kalimantan to help the fire fighters to do their jobs more effectively.
'He [the President) told us to immediately hold meetings to discuss the establishment of eight monitoring posts,' said Syamsul as quoted by tribunnews.com at the Presidential Place after meeting with the President.
According to Syamsul, four posts will be established in Sumatra and another four will be established in Kalimantan.
Syamsul said that the number of hotspots had declined in Riau and Jambi on Friday, but had increased in South Sumatra province.
He said personnel from the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police would help his institution to enforce the law against those who intentionally burned forests.
The Home Affairs Ministry has called on governors to declare a state of emergency in their respective provinces if the forest fires become uncontrollable. This declaration, according to Syamsul, was a positive development, but he noted that 'what we call disaster here is not forest fires, but the widespread smoke,' he said. (bbn)(++++)
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