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Jakarta Post

Fires burn 64 hectares of land in West Aceh

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

West Aceh   /   Tue, July 25, 2017   /   06:30 pm
Fires burn 64 hectares of land in West Aceh Smoke rises from burnt peatland at an oil palm plantation in Riau. (Antara/FB Anggoro)

Fires spread across 64 hectares of forest and peatland have been reported in five districts in West Aceh regency, Aceh.

Three residents suffering from respiratory problems caused by the haze were rushed to the Cut Nyak Dhien Regional Hospital in Meulaboh, West Aceh, on Sunday, kompas.com reported.

According to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Johan Pahlawan district was the most affected district with 19 hectares of peatland reportedly burnt while the Arongan Lambalek and Meureubo districts each recorded 15 hectares of burnt land.

Ten hectares were reportedly burnt in Sama Tiga district while five hectares of burnt peatland was reported in Woyla district.

The fires were allegedly caused by local farmers' slash-and-burn practices, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

Read also: West Kalimantan readies 4 choppers for water bombing

The BNPB, in collaboration with the police, the military and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), have intensified efforts to control the fire and haze, Sutopo said.

“Challenges include difficulty in accessing the locations of the fires, a lack of firefighting vehicles and equipment, as well as a lack of water sources near the fire spots,” he said.

According to data collected by Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Aqua and Terra satellites and a National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) SNNP satellite, 170 hotspots were detected across Indonesia, 35 of which were in Aceh. (yon/bbs)