Haze shrouded Suak Nie Village, West Aceh District, Aceh Province, on July 15. (Source: ANTARA)


Jakarta (VNA)
- Fires had destroyed a total of 30,477 hectares of forests in Indonesia as of July 2019, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

Agus Wibowo, spokesman of the agency, said forest and bush fires engulfed eight Indonesian provinces.

Fires devastated nearly 27,700 hectares of forests in Riau, 2,274 hectares in West Kalimantan, 236 hectares in South Sumatra and 142 hectares in Aceh.  Forest fires were also recorded in West Papua, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and Jambi.

Most of the fires were triggered by intentional or accidental human activities. Such provinces as Riau, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan have declared an emergency alert status for forest fires.

The BNPB and the Agency for Technology Assessment and Application have conducted aerial operation to induce artificial rain.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Military and Police have deployed more than 1,500 officers to prevent and help extinguish forest fires.

Earlier this year, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency had reminded the regional authorities to step up vigil over possible forest fires and droughts, as this year's dry season was forecast to be drier than that of the previous year. The extreme dry season has affected several areas since May and is expected to last until September, with the condition likely to peak in August.

The Terra and Aqua satellites detected nearly 50 hotspots on July 16 in 11 districts and municipalities in Riau province.

A joint team, comprising police and military officers as well as local firefighters, has attempted to extinguish the forest fire in Kampar district since the past several days.-VNA