The Jakarta Post
The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) has admitted that it has become increasingly difficult to quell the raging forest fires that have razed large parts of the archipelago this year.
BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that fires in 2012 and 2013 were concentrated in Riau, but this year, fire clusters were more widespread, with South Sumatra and Central Kalimantan recording the most severe cases.
'Water supply [to put out fires] is also limited, while peatlands is hard to deal with,' says Sutopo at the State Palace on Wednesday.
The limited supply of water has made it hard to carry out water bombing procedures on the burned land.
Sutopo said the agency would now focus on combatting fires in severely-affected areas such as South Sumatra's Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyasin as well as the province's border area with Jambi.
In Central Kalimantan, the agency will try to extinguish fires in the Pulang Pisau, Kapuas and East Kotawaringin regencies.
'Teams in South Kalimantan will support efforts in Central Kalimantan,' said Sutopo.
Over the past weeks, air pollution from fires in peatland and plantation areas has severely affected several regions in Sumatra and Kalimantan, including Jambi, Riau, South Sumatra, West Sumatra and Central Kalimantan.
The ongoing crisis has also been exacerbated by this year's prolonged dry season, caused by the El NiÃ±o weather phenomenon.
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