Illustrative image (Source: Xinhua)
 
Jakarta (VNA) – The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, has detected 54 hotspots at high risk of bush and forest fires in several parts of Riau province, Sumatra island.

Head of the agency Sukisno said based on the latest images released by the Terra & Aqua Satellite, half of the hotspots were discovered in seven wards and districts in the province.

As many as 28 hotspots were found in Bengkalis district, including Rupat Island with 22 hotspots.  

Up to 40 of the 54 hotspots indicated high potential occurrences of bush and forest fires with a confidence level of above 70 percent.

Meanwhile, head of the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency Edwar Sanger noted that nearly 860 ha of land were affected by bush and forest fires since January 2019. Bengkalis district was the hardest-hit with some 639 ha.

The mitigation efforts were hindered by the lack of fire extinguishers and water sources being located away from the affected areas.

Indonesia is prone to forest fire due to its weather and local agricultural practice. 2015 was considered the worst year with forest fire lasting for months, causing losses estimated at at least 35 billion USD and serious haze pollution affecting several countries in the region such as Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines. -VNA