President Jokowi Urges Relevant Top Officials to Combat Forest Fires
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has urged a number of high-ranking officials to stop forest fires that are currently raging in six provinces on the island of Sumatra and in the province of Kalimantan.
“I have instructed the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Commander of the National Defense Forces (TNI), and Chief of the National Police (Polri) to take actions to reduce cases of forest fires in several hotspots including Riau and Palangkaraya,” President Jokowi said during his visit to Huta Siallagan Village in Samosir Regency, North Sumatra, Wednesday (31/7).
President Jokowi went on to say that in an effort to extinguish the fires, helicopters can be used to conduct aerial firefighting operations.
Previously, Acting Head of Data Information and Public Relations Center of the BNPB Agus Wibowo stated in a press release that a joint team which consists of the personnel of the TNI, Polri, the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), the Fire Care Community, and other ministries and agencies, has been dispatched to extinguish the fires since Monday (29/7).
“There are 5,929 deployed personnel to douse forest fires across five provinces, namely Riau, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan,” Agus said, adding that there is additional personnel from the private sector such as from giant paper producer Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas through its Corporate Social (CSR) Programs that has sent 3,180 personnel.
He further said that in the fight against the forest fires, the Government has made available 17 helicopters, not to mention three in South Sumatra, six in West Kalimantan, and seven in Central Kalimantan.
Some 61.06 million liters of water was used to put out the hotspots.
In addition, the authorities have also applied weather modification technology (TMC) operations to trigger rains in hotspots-detected areas. As of July 29, a total of 27,683.47 hectares of forest, peatland, and bush areas in Riau province were gutted by fires. (DNA/JAY/PR of BNPB/ES)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Edited by: Muhardi/Mia Medyana