The Jakarta Post
The Environment and Forestry Ministry has reported a drop in the number of hot spots across the country during this year’s first half from the equivalent period last year.
According to observation using the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, 508 hot spots were detected in forest areas in Indonesia between Jan. 1 and June 25, marking a 25 percent drop from 685 detected in the same period of 2018.
The ministry’s acting director for forest and land fire control, Raffles Brotestes Panjaitan, said authorities had joined forces to launch initiatives to prevent forest and land fires from spreading.
“For example, the ministry has been conducting joint patrols with military and police personnel as well as volunteers in fire-prone regions across Kalimantan and Sumatra since March,” Raffles said.
Apart from the patrols, he added, the Manggala Agni forest fire team had devised a mechanism to dispatch teams to every location of hot spots detected by satellite.
On Tuesday, joint teams extinguished forest and land fires in several locations, including a peatland area in Palem Raya village in Ogan Ilir regency, South Sumatra. In West Nusa Tenggara, another team put out a fire engulfing a vast area of savanna in the Mount Rinjani National Park from Sunday to Monday.
Raffles said firefighters and other authorities were bracing for more possible hot spots in forest areas due to a weak El Nino occurring between June and November.