Jakarta (Greeners) – Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics agency encouraged public and companies in forestry and plantation sectors not to burn their lands, especially peatlands, considering mid-July will already dry season in some parts of the country.
Yunus Subagyo, Deputy of Meteorology at the agency, said that Terra and Aqua satellites might not be able to monitor hotspots for some reasons. for instance, the satellites detected 28 out of 65 hotspots in Riau and 16 hotspots in four other districts in Sumatra on Monday, however, the next day, it was spotted 28 out of 67 hotspots and 17 hotspots in four districts.
“Meanwhile, the agency detected 18 hotspots in four provinces, with 50 percent of accuracy. Those four provinces are South Sumatra, Jambi, Bangka Belitung, and Bengkulu,” said Yunus, in Jakarta, on Thursday (21/7).
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To anticipate forest fires, Director of Forest Fires Investigation and Control of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Raffles B. Panjaitan, said the ministry would be focusing on monitoring strategy through field patrols.
“Field monitoring and integrated patrols showed results sooner compare just relying on satellites,” he added.
Currently, Riau fire fighting officials and National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) have deployed two water bombing helicopters and two Air Tractors.
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Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for BNPB, said that though it was predicted fires would not be as bad as 2015 but dry condition with water scarcity and hard to access would present difficulties for fire fighting efforts.
“So, potential for fires and its spreading will increase,” he said.
Reports by Danny Kosasih