PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) has confirmed that there was a fire in one of its estates in Riau, Indonesia.
It said that a hotspot area occurred, affecting 2.8ha of the 14,400ha estate managed by its subsidiary P.T. Adei Plantation and Industry.
The plantation company further confirmed that 4.25ha of the estate, including an isolation area, has been sealed off for ongoing investigations by the Indonesian authorities.
"The hotspot occurred during an unusually acute dry spell where rain was recorded only two out of the last 60 days.
"It was successfully extinguished within the same day through the effort of our own 120 firefighting personnel, aided by 11 excavators and Shihbaura pumps," KLK said in a statement on Saturday (Sept 14).
It added that water was continually doused throughout the night as a safeguard measure to ensure the affected area remained wet and avoid a recurrence.
Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar had said that a plot of land belonging to PT Adei at the Pelalawan Regency in Riau was sealed on Wednesday (Sept 11).
She also said her team is compiling data of other Malaysian and Singaporean companies whose lands are also on fire.
"P.T. Adei will continue to give full support to the ministry and all relevant authorities to assist in the ongoing investigation," said KLK.
The company also reiterated its zero burning policy, saying that it is serious in its firefighting agenda and has fully equipped firefighting teams in its estates, which carry out yearly certified firefighting training and practise strict patrolling system.
This is not the first time P.T. Adei ran into trouble with the authorities over forest fires.
In 2014, P.T. Adei was fined 1.5bil rupiah (RM404,814) while the firm's general manager, a Malaysian, was sentenced to a year imprisonment for causing forest fires in Indonesia which led to severe haze in Malaysia and Singapore.
He was also fined two billion rupiah (RM539,507.36).