Indonesia declares emergency due to forest fires


Police spray water to extinguish a peat fire in Kampar, Riau province, Sumatra, Indonesia August 29, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. - Reuters

JAKARTA: Indonesian Minister of Forestry and Environment Siti Nurbaya has announced the country has been placed under emergency state due to forecasts on blazes and impacts of smoke from forest and land fires.

Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reports that the announcement came during the ministers visit to Tanah Laut in South Kalimantan on Sunday.

The minister affirmed that forest and land fires situation will be monitored closely.

According to her, effective monitoring and prompt response helped to significantly reduce the number of fires in Jambi and West Kalimantan provinces by 70-90 per cent in the early months of the year. However, the number of hot spots increased during July and August, especially in Riau and West Kalimantan.

According to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Geophysics and Climatology Agency (BMKG), the number of hot spots has increased due to the dry season and drought in Sumatra and vicinities. The agency also anticipated that this year, dry season will last until mid-September. - Bernama

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