Indonesia steps up effort to end forest fires as hotspots increase

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-30 15:50:23|Editor: Zhou Xin
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JAKARTA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has boosted measures to extinguish forest fires in the country as the number of hotspots increased significantly on Sunday, a senior government official said.

A total of four helicopters were dispatched to undertake water bombings in West Kalimantan province of Borneo Island as forest fires have been flaming there for four days, spokesman of national disaster agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Satellite has detected that the number of hotpots climbed to 239 across the vast archipelagic nation as of Sunday. Among them, 126 are located in West Kalimantan province, the spokesman told Xinhua in a text message.

Soldiers, policemen, personnel of the disaster management agency and volunteers are struggling to douse the blaze, he added.

Difficult access to the scene, lack of sources of water and limited number of devices have hampered the firefighters from conducting their mission, Sutoppo said.

The smoke from the fires has not reached neighboring Malaysia or other nations in the Southeast Asia region, he added.

Indonesia is frequently hit by forest fires with the biggest one in 2015 spreading across the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.