In­done­sia for­est fires worsen

Viet Nam News - - Asia -

JAKARTA — In­done­sia’s Na­tional Dis­as­ter Mit­i­ga­tion Agency (BNPB) has said for­est fires are be­com­ing un­con­trol­lable in Riau and West Kal­i­man­tan prov­inces.

BNPB spokesman Su­topo Purwo Nu­groho said satel­lite im­ages on Tues­day re­vealed 143 fires in Riau and 268 oth­ers in West Kal­i­man­tan.

BNPB asked heads of re­gional ad­min­is­tra­tions in Riau and West Kal­i­man­tan - gov­er­nors, re­gents and may­ors - to be more proac­tive in pre­vent­ing for­est and brush fires.

“Pre­ven­tive mea­sures would be more ef­fec­tive than putting out fires, es­pe­cially fires on peat­land,” Su­topo said as quoted by An­tara news agency.

BNPB head Syam­sul Maarif said he had or­dered the de­ploy­ment of he­li­copters to Pon­tianak to douse the fires with wa­ter.

“In Riau, 200 mil­i­tary per­son­nel, con­sist­ing of 100 from the Army and 100 from the Air Force, and 500 po­lice of­fi­cers have been sent to help put out the for­est fires,” he said.

Vol­un­teers are also help­ing to fight the fires in the province, he said.

In Du­mai, dense smoke had re­duced vis­i­bil­ity to 2km, he added.

Ac­cord­ing to the BNPB, forests and brush­land de­stroyed by fires in Riau had reached 848 ha, but the fig­ure was be­lieved to be higher as there were fires that were not in­cluded in of­fi­cial data.—

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