A. Asnawi, Pasuruan, Indonesia – Authorities in Indonesia have managed to put out a wildfire that had been tearing through a national park that's home to rare leopards and eagles.
The fire started on the morning of Oct. 9 in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, home to the iconic Mount Bromo, a popular tourist attraction.
It spread into the park from community lands, according to park spokesman Syarif Hidayat, though the cause remains unclear, he said. Firefighters were able to put out the fire on Oct. 10.
Fires occur almost every year in the national park, usually due to farmers burning land to clear it for planting, or tourists setting up campfires or discarding cigarette butts, according to Rosek Nur Sahid, co-founder of conservation group ProFauna Indonesia.
It was second major fire to occur in the park this dry season. The park will intensify patrols to prevent more of them, Syarif said.
Spanning an area nearly the size of the nation's capital, Jakarta, the park is home to 38 protected species, including the Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas) and the Javan hawk-eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi), both of which are endangered.
The park is also home to 311 plant species, including the Javanese edelweiss (Anaphalis javanica), which is used in the traditional ceremonies of the Tengger people, and some rare species of orchid.