The Jakarta Post
The South Sumatra chapter of the Land and Forest Fire Control Task Force is increasing its air operations to extinguish fires in areas that have been difficult to reach via land routes.
'The aerial firefighting operation to tackle haze [from wildfires], which is still quite thick, has been strengthened as the central government has provided several more helicopters and aircraft for the operation,' said the task force's deputy chief Yulizar Dinoto as quoted by Antara news agency in Palembang on Wednesday.
He said the task force had just received three helicopters from the central government for water-bombing operations in forest and peat land areas across the province. With the additional three helicopters, plus a new Fixwing X-Track aircraft, Yulizar said the task force now had five helicopters and several aircraft.
He further explained that amid hot weather and very low rainfall, land and forest fires had continued to spread and were quite difficult to tackle with limited personnel and equipment.
Yulizar said apart from aerial firefighting efforts, including the use of weather modification technology, ground efforts in areas where many hot spots had existed, such as Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin regencies, had continued to be intensified.
He said that with those combined efforts, it was hoped that the fires in South Sumatra and several neighboring provinces, such as Jambi and Riau, could be controlled, and haze problems resolved quickly. (ebf)(++++)
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