Indonesia dispatches over 22,000 personnel to fight forest fire

JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has deployed 22,107 soldiers, police and firefighters as well as 24 aircraft to extinguish forest and agriculture fires in western parts of the nation, the disaster agency said here on Thursday.

The attempts are carried out as the country is experiencing the peak of dry season (in September) which provides favorable condition for the spread of fires, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster management and mitigation agency,

Satellite Terra and Aqua from NASA on Thursday detected 260 hotspots in the country with 240 of them in Borneo Island, Sutopo said.

“The activity of slash-and-burn practice during land clearing for new plantation and farming remains rampant,” he told Xinhua via phone.

The spokesman said that the measures to put out the fires are undertaken though land and air by dropping waters and creating artificial rains.

Three other helicopters have also been on standby to support the efforts, he added.

Indonesia suffered the biggest ever forest fires in 2015 with 2. 61 million hectares land burned, resulting in huge impacts on health and economic activities. PNA/Xinhua/