"Thank God, the situation was resolved today," said Head of the Riau BPBD office Edwar Sanger in Pekanbaru on Tuesday.
He explained that the blackout process lasted all day on Monday (Aug 20) after the fire was monitored by the local forest and land forest (karhutla) response task force.
The extinguishing effort, Sanger continued, involved military personnel and the police to Manggala Agni and the Rokan Hulu BPBD. In addition, the blackout process was also strengthened by the deployment of one unit of water bombing helicopters.
"The fire broke out in a hilly area so we deployed water bombing helicopters there," he explained.
Furthermore, he said the process of extinction of the Karhutla had been hampered by the difficulty of water sources. Even so, he was grateful because the extinguishing process in the conservation area was going well.
Separately, district military commander 0313 / KPR Lt. Col. Inf Beny Setiyanto revealed that the area under fire in Bukit Suligi was spreading to community oil palm plantations, precisely around Kulim, Kumain Village, Tandun District, Rokan Hulu.
"Approximately 20 hectares of the Bukit Suligi forest, and land and oil palm plantations belonging to the people in the Bukit Suligi area are on fire," he said.
He explained the location of the fire exactly at 0 29"30 ", 100 37"38", 317. For the law enforcement process, the military surrendered completely to the police to act on it.
Meanwhile, Setiyanto also appealed to the community to no longer burn the land. In addition, he also asked all military soldiers and the police to enforce the ban on clearing of land by burning it.
The fire that struck Bukit Suligi is not new. This is due to the rampant illegal encroachment of forests. Bukit Suligi has a protected forest area of some 33,000 hectares (ha). Nearly 80 percent or 25,400.67 ha is in Rokan Hulu and the remaining 7,599.33 ha is part of Kampar.
This protected forest area is located in Tandun District and Rokan IV Koto District, Rokan Hulu, and in West Bangkinang District, Kampar.
Bukit Suligi Protection Forest is a stretch of wet tropical forest with a distance of some 139 kilometers to the West from Pekanbaru City, the capital of Riau Province.
In the past, this forest area was the most beautiful natural paradise for visitors who liked to walk around exploring natural tourism in Riau and had a variety of rare flora and fauna.
There are streams of small rivers, caves, various types of animals such as deer, reindeer, sun bears and others, and visitors can soak in the source of a hot spring to unwind.
Also, this area is used for biological research by experts because the natural forests are still dense and beautiful.