The Jakarta Post
Wildfires engulfed hectares of land in the Cikepuh and Cibanteng nature reserves in Sukabumi, West Java, between July and August.
The West Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) recorded that at least 27 hotspots, which were located on the savannah, had scorched about 232 ha of the two nature reserves’ total area, kompas.com reported.
Kusmara of the BKSDA said the savannah was prone to fires during the dry season.
The fires, he added, were also found inside the buffer zones close to land owned by local residents.
"We are still investigating the cause of the fire because there is suspicion of illegal activities in the area,” Kusmara said on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com, without giving more information.
Cikepuh and Cibanteng are part of the Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu National Geopark, which gained global recognition as a UNESCO Global Geopark earlier this year.
In September last year, fires razed at least 19 ha of forest in Cikepuh.
Kusmara said the authorities were continuing to work to prevent further fires, including encouraging local residents to take part in wildfire prevention campaigns.
During this year’s dry season peak between July and August, the country saw an increase in the number of land and forest fires in several provinces, with West Kalimantan becoming the region with the most hotspots to date. (kuk/ipa)