The Jakarta Post
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has warned of an increasing risk of land and forest fires from August to September as a result of the prolonged dry season.
The BNPB recorded that, based on the Terra, Aqua and SNPP satellites, 538 hot spots were detected on Tuesday with a confidence level of medium-to-high.
The actual numbers, however, might be higher than that already detected since the Terra and Aqua satellites do not pass through several regions the BNPB deems as blank spots — Aceh, Jambi, Riau, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, Gorontalo and East NusaTenggara.
The number of hot spots in West Kalimantan and Papua — two regions currently contributing the highest number of hot spots, around 193 and 143, respectively — is predicted to rise.
"The dry season will run until October. The peak is predicted to be in September. Therefore, there is an increasing possibility of land and forest fires. So, be careful," BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a press release on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Banten, Jambi, West Papua and North Sulawesi recorded one hot spot each.
Six provinces in Sumatra and Kalimantan — Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan — have declared emergency-alert status for forest fires, most were declared in June and will last until October.
Five taskforces with different responsibilities for land, air, law enforcement, health and public awareness have been deployed to prepare for forest fires. (ipa)