Indonesian president threatens to fire officers failing to tackle forest fire

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-06 20:44:46|Editor: Wu Qin
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JAKARTA, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday threatened to sack military and police officers if they fail to extinguish the ongoing forest fire.

Thousands of military and police personnel have been dispatched after six provinces in the two main islands of Sumatra Island and Borneo declared emergency on forest fire.

"I have phoned military commander and national police chief to sack officers who fail to tackle the forest fire," Widodo said.

"Never underestimate hot spots. Immediately douse the fire, don't wait until it gets bigger," he added.

He emphasized a priority to apply an integrated patrol for early detection and management of peatland ecosystem especially during the dry season to detect potential of forest fire from happening.

Forest fire has frequently happened in Indonesia as growers use fires to clear lands during land clearing for opening a new plantation, such as for growing palm and pulp plantation. But the fire has often raged out of control especially during the dry season, resulting in haze that spread to neighboring countries.