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Jakarta Post

BNPB warns of more forest fires in upcoming weeks

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 22, 2017   /   05:06 pm
BNPB warns of more forest fires in upcoming weeks A helicopter prepared by the West Kalimantan administration gets ready to carry out water-bombing operations to prevent the spread of land and forest fires during the dry season. (Courtesy of the West Kalimantan Disaster Mitigation Agency/File)

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)