BPBD confirms fires engulfed 10 hectares of West Kalimantan’s peatland

We also intensify prevention efforts by routinely informing the public of the dangers and impact of land and forest fires, so they will no longer set fire to land or others

Pontianak, W Kalimantan Fires swept through five to 10 hectares of peatland in West Kalimantan Province during the dry spell this year, the Pontianak City Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) stated.

"The area of each of the burned peatland was so small that the military, police, and BPBD personnel, with assistance from private fighters, could extinguish the blaze quickly," BPBD Head Saptiko stated in Pontianak on Tuesday.

To handle land and forest fires in the province, the BPBD has cooperated with the military and police in conducting joint routine patrols in fire-prone land and forest areas.

"We also intensify prevention efforts by routinely informing the public of the danger and impact of land and forest fires, so they will no longer set fire to land or others," he stated.

The BPBD Office noted that four hotspots indicating land and forest fires were detected in Pontianak comprising one in North Pontianak, two in South Pontianak, and one in Southeast Pontianak.

On Monday, August 12, 2019, the Pontianak city administration sealed four plots of burned land on Sepakat Street 2, Southeast Pontianak Sub-district.

The city government sealed the land by putting up a notice board that read, "This land is under the surveillance of the Pontianak city government. It violates Regional Regulation No. 55/2018 concerning land and forest fires."

The thick smoke arising from land and forest fires has forced the Pontianak city education and culture office to close kindergartens and elementary schools on Tuesday and Wednesday. Meanwhile, learning activities at junior high schools begin at 9 a.m. local time.

West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji, at a coordination meeting to discuss land and forest fire control, Monday, summoned 94 plantation companies and timber estates believed to have set fire to land in their respective concession areas.

"The 94 companies comprise 56 plantation companies and 38 timber estates. We summoned them, as hotspots were found around their concessions," he stated.

The meeting was held in response to rampant land and forest fires in several districts in the province.

Based on satellite monitoring on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at 7 a.m. local time, 126 hotspots were found in Riau, four in Jambi, 13 each in South Sumatra and South Kalimantan, 533 in West Kalimantan, and 159 in Central Kalimantan.

Source: Antara News

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