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Focus on forest, fires in Sumatra, Kalimantan
Published on: Thursday, May 12, 2022
By: Antara News
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JAKARTA: The Environment and Forestry Ministry has said that it is currently focusing on mitigating forest and land fires in the peatlands of Sumatra and Kalimantan islands (pic).

“During the dry season, when it rarely rains, we should take joint (forest and land fire) anticipatory attempts for the regions which are covered by peatland,” director of forest and land fire mitigation at the ministry, Basar Manullang, said.

Currently, the anticipatory efforts are focused on several at-risk areas in Sumatra Island, including Riau, South Sumatra, Jambi, and North Sumatra provinces, he informed.

The efforts are also being carried out in all provinces across Kalimantan Island.

The director noted that currently, there has been a decline in rainfall in some parts of Sumatra Island, while the remaining regions are expected to start experiencing the dry season in May–June 2022.

The decrease in rainfall has increased the potential for forest and land fires.

Hence, Manullang said that mitigation efforts also require the participation of the surrounding community so that the best prevention measures can be determined for forest and land fires.

According to data from the ministry, the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Terra/Aqua satellite has identified 221 hotspots across Indonesia from January 1 to May 9, 2022.

During the same period in 2021, 228 hotspots were detected.

“Thus, so far, there has been a decline in the number of detected hotspots,” the director noted.

He said that the achievement is inseparable from the various forest and land fire mitigation efforts implemented by various stakeholders, including the government and the community.

The efforts include weather modification operations, which were conducted from April 14–28, and water bombing in at-risk areas.

In addition, air patrols were conducted in Riau province. A series of integrated and independent land patrols were also carried out in five villages in the province.

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