Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – At least five hectares of forest land inside the Giak Siam Kecil conservation in Bengkalis, Riau, were destroyed by fire on Thursday.
By the afternoon, firefighters were still trying to extinguish the fire that has engulfed peatland and palm groves in the area, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.
The 50,000-hectare conservation area is home to the endangered Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), tapir (Tapirus indicus), sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosi), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and also the rare Giam tree (Cotylelobium malayanum).
A helicopter has made 42 sorties of water bombing to assist the firefighters, BNPB spokesman Agus Wibowo said in Jakarta. No casualties have been reported.