The Jakarta Post
A field located near the Jakabaring athletes villages in Palembang, South Sumatra, caught fire on Friday evening, a week before the Asian Games are scheduled to commence.
The fire was extinguished on Saturday at 9.09 a.m. local time with the help of water bombers, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo told The Jakarta Post.
However, smoke from the blaze has remained in the skies above the area.
Police are currently looking for the person or persons who started the fire, which was reportedly intended to clear the land for farming, Sutopo said.
He added that there had been similar incidents in Jakabaring recently, but the smoke never reached the Asian Games venue.
“This is an important lesson for us all. Patrols must be intensified during the Asian Games,” he said.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry has warned of a potential increase in hot spots in several regions. As the land-clearing period had just started, the central government is determined to prevent forest fires from spreading on the island of Sumatra, as the Asian Games are being held in Palembang. (sau/ahw)