Indonesia battles forest, agricultural fires amid dry season
Firefighters currently fighting mountain blaze on slopes of Mt Arjuno in East Java’s Malang
JAKARTA – Firefighting teams are currently engaged in addressing a mountain fire on the slopes of Mount Arjuno near Malang in East Java, according to the disaster mitigation agency BNPB.The fire, which began on a Saturday night at 10pm local time, is affecting hilly terrain with shrubs and savannah.
“Controlling the fire is difficult due to the changing wind direction, and the cause and the extent of the fire are still under investigation,” its spokesman Abdul Muhari said in a statement.
In West Java, a blaze spanning 151ha has ignited within the agriculture lands of Mount Ciremai, in Ciremai Mountain National Park, Kuningan.
He said shifting winds also require manual firefighting in challenging terrain.
BNPB also reported a distinct fire incident at the Sarimukti Integrated Waste Disposal Site in West Bandung, about 171-km away from Ciremai Mountain. The agency had deployed water-bombing helicopters to assist, while ground teams are tackling lingering hotspots from waste piles using water tanker trucks.
In Indonesia’s eastern islands, a forest and agriculture land fire spanning 40ha occurred in East Flores due to land-clearing practices in the village of Nurabelen, Ile Bura. Muhari noted the fire spread to other areas as well, but authorities have extinguished most of the fire.
He added West Kalimantan faces a considerable challenge, with forest and agriculture land fires affecting about 5,700ha and authorities have started cloud seeding efforts. While fires covering 1,978ha in South Kalimantan have been contained, ongoing forest and agriculture land fires persist in Central Kalimantan, where 63 hotspots are identified in seven sub-districts.
– Bernama, August 28, 2023