On 17 February, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry -KLHK issued a press release to be aware of land and forest fire during the vulnerable period in 2018. Director of Forest and Land Fire Control at the Ministry, Raffles B. Panjaitan said that NOAA satellite monitored last Tuesday night (February 16th) that there are 38 hotspots spreading 3 hotspots in Central Kalimantan, 31 West Kalimantan, 1 South Sulawesi, 2 West Java and 1 hotspot 1in Central Java. Meanwhile, the NASA Terra-Aqua Satellite recorded 10 hotspots: 1 in South Sumatra, 2 in Riau, 6 in West Kalimantan and 1 spot in Riau Islands.
It is estimated that the increase in the intensity of forest and land fires in Riau and Kalimantan occurs from February to March and June to October on which within both periods, the weather in these areas is very hot and dry.
To respond the warning, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry along with the provincial governments continues to take anticipatory action through improved socialization and fire prevention patrols. Take for example, West Kalimantan and South Sumatra provinces have set the emergency alert status of forest and land fire disaster. This is aimed to rapidly, accurately and integrally anticipate the impact of smoke disaster caused by forest and land fires in accordance with applicable standards and procedures.
Fire Brigade at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Manggala Agni in collaboration with the Military -TNI, the National Police -Polri, Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency and the local community continues to extinguish several hotspots of forest and land fires in Riau and West Kalimantan,
The activities taken by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to address forest and land fires are based on three strategic targets for environmental and forestry development for 2015-2019. First, the Ministry is to maintain the quality of the environment, including efforts to improve environmental capacity, water security and public health. The second point is that the Ministry has to pay attention to the potential of forest and environmental resources. The third one is to preserve the balance of ecosystem and biodiversity and the presence of natural resources, as a supporting system of life to support sustainable development.
It is expected that through the establishment of the emergency alert status of forest and land fires, the mobilization of resources in its control has to more optimal, especially in areas prone to fire.
In addition, the synergy among the institutions such as the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency, the Forest Service, the TNI, POLRI, and Manggala Agni at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is expected to be stronger. They must cooperate to control the forest and land fires. Moreover, the participation of the local community is also important. People are encouraged to love their environment and not to take actions that can trigger forest and land fires.