Gov’t Deploys 50 Water Bombing Helicopters to Put Out Riau Fires
Date 14 September 2019
The Indonesian Government has taken various measures to combat forest fires that hit Riau province.
One of those measures is by deploying as many as 50 water-bombing helicopters from several ministries and institutions, such as the National Defense Forces (TNI), the National Police (Polri), and the private sectors to extinguish fires in the affected areas.
“Meanwhile the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) alone has deployed 42 helicopters to combat the fires,” said Head of the BNPB Doni Monardo in Jakarta, Saturday (14/9).
However, Doni stated that combating fires in peat land are not easy, citing an example of a peat land area in the neighboring South Sumatra province which has been caught in fire for more than one month and still has not been extinguished until today.
“Extinguishing the fires through water bombing or water hose is not an effective effort to combat fires. Rain is the best option,” he said.
Therefore, he added, the BNPB is also collaborating with the Climatology, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to create artificial rain.
Doni went on to say that the largest forest and land fires in Sumatera Island occurred in Riau province with the affected areas covering approximately 40 thousand hectares, out 80 thousand hectares affected by the fires in the island of Sumatra alone.
The BNBP Head also explained that the massive size areas affected by the fires is one of the factors causing the increasing number of hotspots that lead to haze and worsening pollution, adding that low rainfall due to El Nino phenomenon also caused poor air quality in the province. (ANT/ES)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Edited by: M. Ersan Pamungkas