Land and forest fires have been detected in the regencies of Batanghari and Kerinci, as well as Sungai Penuh city in Jambi, the Batanghari Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has said.
Two fires occurred in January, while one incident occurred in April. “A total of 3.2 hectares has been burned down, with five hot spots,” he said on Thursday.
Production Forest Management Office (KPHP) unit I head Neneng Susanti said that as of April, the office had extinguished fires on 288.5-ha of land and forests in Kerinci regency and Sungai Penuh city, of which 122-ha of land and forests were burned down in January and the remaining 83.5-ha in February.
“The land and forest fires have caused hundreds of millions of rupiah in losses."
Citing reports from the Land and Forest Fire Control task force, Neneng said the forests were intentionally burned using slash-and-burn techniques to open plantations.
“The team found evidence, including gasoline, on the burned areas,” she said.
Neneng called on farming communities to use traditional techniques to clear land to protect and conserve forests.
Land and forest fire cases occur in Jambi every year. The Jambi Forestry Agency said 566- ha of land and forests across the province were burned down in 2017, up from 254-ha in the previous year. A massive forest fire in 2015 destroyed 19,528-ha of land and forests in Jambi. (ebf)