Police: Over 70 named suspects of forest, land fires in Indonesia

JAKARTA, July 7 (Xinhua): Indonesia's National Police have named at least 73 persons and two firms as suspects in land and forest fire cases after receiving 68 reports since the beginning of this year until Sunday.

There had been more than 300,000 hectares of forest and wildland destroyed by fires based on those reports, the National Police spokesman Awi Setiyono was quoted by local media as saying here on Tuesday.

He called on the public to help the government in the prevention of wildfire.

"Of course if wildfire in the forest and land are still found, the National Police will take stern measures (to proceed the suspects)," Setiyono said.

The suspects will be charged in accordance with the law.

Indonesia is regularly hit by forest fires, linked to illegal slash-and-burn practices on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, which then spread quickly during the dry season.

The fires usually result in choking smokes blowing to the neighboring countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

The largest country in Southeast Asia suffered the worst and deadliest forest fires in 2015, mainly hitting the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan. - Xinhua
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