Thousands of forest fires have engulfed Indonesia this year (Photo: Getty Images)

Jakarta (VNA) – 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.

The announcement came during the minister’s visit to Tanah Laut in South Kalimantan on August 28. 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 percent in the early months of the year. However, the number of hot spots has 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.-VNA