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Rain puts out forest fire on Mt Lawu

Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Karanganyar, Central Java  /  Thu, June 21, 2018  /  04:27 pm
Rain puts out forest fire on Mt Lawu

Hundreds of climbers have been safely evacuated after a fire broke out on Mount Lawu. (Shutterstock/File)

Heavy rain, which fell on Wednesday, has doused the forest fire on Mount Lawu, Karanganyar regency, Central Java.

Climbers, who were on the peak at the time of the fire, have been safely evacuated. However, all trails have been closed until further notice.

“Yes, the fire is out,” said Bambang Djatmiko, the head of the Karanganyar Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), on Thursday. “The rain that fell on Wednesday afternoon doused it.”

Bambang confirmed that there were about 400 climbers on the mountain when the fire broke out. The BPBD assigned dozens of volunteers from Candi Cetho to fight it and look for climbers.

Around 200 people were evacuated by volunteers from BPBD Karanganyar and Search and Rescue (SAR), while the rest had descended the mountain on their own.

Read also: Island focus: Mount Lawu closed after fire

“The last of the 50 climbers have descended,” said Bambang. “They were not trapped but took a rest at the second post, which is far from the hot spot. All of them have returned uninjured.”

Meanwhile, the head of state-run forestry firm Perhutani’s forest functionary office (BPKH) in North Lawu, Edy Saryono, said the hot spot was first detected on Tuesday afternoon on the Argo Tiling peak.

 “Not a single tree was destroyed by the fire. So there’s no need to plant new ones,” added Edy.

He said although the source of fire was still unknown, he assumed it could have been caused by locals who were making charcoal in the area. (wir/wng)