The Number of Forest Fire Points in Papua Continues to Increase

JAKARTA, – Forest and land fires occur not only in the islands of Sumatera and Kalimantan alone, especially in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatera, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. But since 2015 forest and land fires are also widely prevalent in Papua.

Head of BNPB Information and Public Relations Data Center, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the number of hotspots (hot spots) of forest and land fires continues to fluctuate. The results of monitoring by Aqua satellite, Terra, SNNP at LAPAN fashion catalog on Monday (7/8) at 16.00 WIB there are 158 hotspots of forest and land fires in Indonesia.

Distribution of 158 hotspots is Papua 93, East Java 17, Central Sulawesi 1, East Kalimantan 1, South Kalimantan 1, Central Kalimantan 3, West Java 3, Central Java 2, NTT 13, NTB 11, North Kalimantan 3, South Sulawesi 1, West Sumatera 3, Riau 1, Bengkulu 1 , Aceh 1, South Sumatera 2, and North Sumatera 1 hotspots.

The number of hotspots that jumped increased was in Papua from 7 hotspots on Sunday (6/8) increased to 93 hotspots on Monday (7/8). The hotspot is centered in Merauke District (92 hotspots) and Central Mamberamo (1 hotspot). Sutopo said forest and land fires in Papua must be wary.

“The increasing number of hotspots can not be separated from the opening of large-scale plantations in Papua. The type of burned soil is peat and mineral soil, “Sutopo said in a written statement Monday night (7/8).

Based on satellite imagery monitoring, Sutopo said, the change of land use from forest to plantation takes place fast enough and wide in Papua. This activity is accompanied by an increase in forest and land fires in land clearing.

As an illustration, the results of remote sensing analysis during 1/7/2015 to 20/10/2015 by Lapan, forest area and burnt land in Papua reached 354.191 hectares. Forest and land clearance in Papua is common in Merauke and Mappi districts.

Sutopo explained that the extent of forests and burned land at that time was difficult to extinguish because it is located in areas that are difficult to reach, limited infrastructure and personnel to extinguish the fire, and the absence of BPBD Merauke.

Currently, satellite monitoring indicates that forest and land fires occur again in Merauke Papua. According to Sutopo, this should be wary and anticipated that forest and land fires are not widespread.

He admitted that the environmental impacts are not as bad as in Sumatera and Kalimantan, but prevention efforts need not be repeated and widespread. Forests and biodiversity in Papua need to be maintained so as not to be easily converted to other uses and not to burn.

“The dry season will continue until October. The peak of the dry season is expected in September. Potential drought and forest and land fires will increase, “continued Sutopo.

Meanwhile, rain fall and forest and land fire prevention efforts in Sumatera and Kalimantan have caused hotspots in both areas to decrease compared to the previous two days. (MHN)

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