Authorities have closed all hiking trails leading up to the peaks of Mount Lawu, Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing in Central Java on account of land and forest fires that have ravaged the three areas over the last few days.
Although it has been some time since the fires started, officials have not been able to put out the fires on Mt. Sindoro and Mt. Sumbing owing to strong winds, dry weather and challenging terrain.
Acting Temanggung Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Gito Walngadi said the fire on Mt. Sumbing had started in the Kecepit forest resort, which is located in Gelapansari village, Bulu district, Temanggung regency, Central Java.
“Fire spots were detected at 6:15 p.m. on Monday,” he said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Meanwhile, a fire was reported on Saturday on the nearby Mt. Sindoro. The fire reportedly started in the Kwadungan forest resort in Canggal village, Candiroto district, Temanggung and had since spread to the nearby Sigedang forest resort.
Gito said that so far, the fire on Mt. Sindoro had burned 245 hectares of land and vegetation in the area.
Central Java BNPB daily executive head Sarwa Pramana had also instructed his subordinates in Temanggung, Wonosobo and Magelang to reach out to pawang hujan(rain shaman) to call for rain and help extinguish the fire that burned through Mt. Sindoro-Sumbing.
In the meantime, the fire that burned forests on Mt. Lawu was contained by officials on Tuesday. According to the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Twitter account, 150 personnel from the Central Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), state-owned forestry company Perum Perhutani, police, military and volunteers worked together to put out the fire, which was believed to have started in the Tlogo Dringgo forest resort in the Gondosuli village, Tawangmangu district, Karanganyar regency.
The blaze on Mount Lawu is believed to have been started by a hiker who made a bonfire in the Candi Cetho area in Karanganyar regency. Strong winds then caused the fire spread to the other parts of the forest located in Magetan and Ngawi regencies. (ris/ahw)