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Jakarta Post

Fires destroy land, conservation areas as people pray for rain

  • Syofiardi Bachyul Jb

    The Jakarta Post

Padang   /   Mon, October 24 2016   /  08:30 am

Massive land and forest fires in Limapuluh Kota regency, West Sumatra, over the past 20 days have destroyed 300 hectares of area, including 70 hectares of conservation forest.

Of the devastated conservation forest, 40 hectares were found in the Lembah Harau protected area and 30 hectares in the Air Putih Taram conservation area.

“The fire degraded the animal habitat and reduced biodiversity in the conservation areas,” said Zaidi, head of the Region I section with the West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).

He said the fire could also lead to a drought that could threaten the people’s water supply.

Local firefighters found it difficult to extinguish the fire due to the hard terrain of the area, forcing them to ask the central government to send a helicopter to ease their work.

By Saturday, the firefighters said they had extingu...