TIME.CO, Jakarta – Number of widespread forest and land fires o Forest and land fires in South Sumatra province this year is the largest compared to other areas on Sumatra island, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry or the KLHK field team.
The head of the Center for Climate Change and Forest and Land Fire Control (PPIKHL) for the Sumatra Region, KLHK, Ferdian Krisnanto in Jakarta, Tuesday, October 31, 2023, said that from January to September 2023 the total area of forests and land burned in South Sumatra was 32,496 hectares.
“This is the total distribution of forest and land fires obtained in the field through September (it could be more) because for October it is still being verified,” he said.
Based on data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the amount of land burned in South Sumatra is much greater than in other areas.
During the same period, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry recorded the number of forest and land fires in Aceh covering 1,912 hectares, Bangka Belitung (2,048), Bengkulu (25.61), Jambi (1,646), Lampung (5,000) , North Sumatra (2,113), West Sumatra (1,300) and Riau (5,302).
The burned area in South Sumatra includes forest areas, mining lands and peat that are almost spread across 17 districts and cities of the province.
The hotspots most affected by the fires are located in Ogan Komering Ilir, Ogan Ilir, Banyuasin, Musi Banyuasin and Muara Enim.
“Currently (in South Sumatra) the Manggala Agni Team is still extinguishing fires in several locations in Ogan Komering Ilir and Ogan Ilir,” he said.
Due to these conditions, the PPIKHL Center coordinated with regional and central governments, in this case the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), to immediately increase efforts to moisten burned land and increase the number of firefighting personnel in the field.
Otherwise, he worries, forest and land fires will continue to spread and their impact will have implications for reducing public health from daily breathing of air mixed with thick bushfire smoke and disrupting economic activity.
“The indicator (Standard Index Air pollution) is very dynamic, starting with being very unhealthy and dangerous in Palembang city,” he said.
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