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Jakarta Post

Efforts ongoing to put out peat fires in Jambi

  • Jon Afrizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jambi   /   Thu, August 3, 2017   /   03:24 pm
Efforts ongoing to put out peat fires in Jambi Hazed and confused: A photojournalist covering the scene attempts to avoid thick smoke from a man-made forest fire in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Jan. 11. (Antara/Rony Muharrman)

A joint effort to extinguish peat fires around the Sayang River in Sadu district, East Tanjung Jabung regency, Jambi, has been ongoing since Thursday morning.

Personnel from the local police, the Manggala Agni Fire Brigade and the Fire Agency, with support from local communities, are working together to put out fires that have been burning the area since Wednesday. However, numerous hot spots and a lack of firefighting equipment have hampered efforts.

Sadu Police chief Adj. Comr. M. Tohari said the team dispatched to extinguish the fires comprised eight police officers, eight Manggala Agni personnel, five Fire Agency officers and dozens of local people.

“We are still looking to extinguish the fires,” Tohari said on Thursday.

The fires are spread across around 10 hectares of peatland. Authorities previously tried to stop the fires when they broke out on Wednesday but they ceased the operation that night.

A separate string of fires started in and around Mencolok village, Mendahara Ulu district, East Tanjung Jabung, on Wednesday.

East Tanjung Jabung Disaster Mitigation Agency official Rizon Wilyadi said that a team was dispatched to extinguish the fires. “We are working toward putting out the fires [...],” he said, adding that the number of hectares of land burned down in the area was not known. (ebf)