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Jakarta Post

TNI builds canals and water basins to tackle fires in S. Sumatra

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 22, 2015   /  12:35 pm
TNI builds canals and water basins to tackle fires in S. Sumatra (tribunnews.com)

(tribunnews.com)

The Indonesian Military (TNI) has been focusing on building canals and water retention basins in the burning peatlands in South Sumatra as it is an effective way to fight forest and land fires, an official said on Thursday.

"Building canals and water basins is effective enough to lower the hot spots by 70 percent," Maj. Gen. Fransen G Siahaan, the operational assistant to the TNI chief, said on Thursday as reported by kompas.com.

He explained that canals, 3 meters to 12 m wide and 3 m deep, could prevent fires from spreading.

He said water bombing and cloud seeding were the main operations to extinguish the fires, however the inflammable peatlands hampered the operations.

"If you look from above, the hot spots seem to be decreasing but the fire is actually still spreading underneath," he said.

South Sumatra is the province with highest numbers of hot spots in Sumatra, with 572 hot spots out of 656 hot spots recorded on Thursday, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

Meanwhile, TNI chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo on Thursday swapped 1,059 soldiers assigned in South Sumatra with a new batch of 1,000 soldiers.

TNI also assigned another 2,000 soldiers to help tackle the fires in Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan. (edn/rin)(++++)

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