"Fire has been detected below the peatland surface, fully conflagrating the bushes. This condition has made it difficult for the team to put out the fire," Edwin Putra, head of Manggala Agni for Pekanbaru region, revealed here on Friday.
The land fire was only detected on Thursday (July 11) at around 1 p.m. local time by the fire brigade when it had already scorched two hectares of the villagers' land. The team has spotted indications of intentional burning.
The Manggala Agni team has teamed up with the military and police personnel as well as locals to extinguish the land fire.
Putra confirmed that the team had managed to contain the fire and will continue to work towards extinguishing it.
Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lt Gen. Doni Monardo had earlier stated that Riau was highly susceptible to forest and land fires, with the dry season peaking during the period from July to October.
The agency has deployed 1,512 personnel in Riau comprising military and police personnel, Manggala Agni, and the Fire Care Community, as well as involved academicians, ulemas, environmental NGO, and journalists, as a precautionary measure against land and forest fires.
"The task force is expected to edify the people to stop the practice of land burning to prepare the land for plantation," Monardo remarked. Related news: Environment ministry intensifies land and forest fire control
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