Antara, Jakarta – With the dry season reaching its peak and the mercury shooting up, several parts of Indonesia recorded land and forest fires in September, stated Minister of Environment and Forestry (LHK), Siti Nurbaya Bakar.
"In almost every year, September is the peak of the dry season. We always monitor hotspots and fire spots in Indonesia," the minister informed in Cirebon, West Java, on Saturday.
According to her, forest and land fires are currently affecting a number of provinces such as Central Kalimantan, South Sumatra, and parts of South Kalimantan.
She said that her ministry has deployed officers to a number of areas to handle forest and land fires.
"Officers from the LHK Ministry have already been deployed to handle fires. Moreover, I am also worried about lots of fires in national parks in Java," she added.
Bakar said that every week, forest and land fire incidents have been recorded in a number of areas. Her ministry is continuously monitoring and handling the incidents.
Her ministry is also committed to preventing the impact of forest and land fires from spreading and hurting the society and the environment.
"Today, we received a report regarding a fire on Mount Lawu last night. Previously, it happened at Mount Bromo, East Java. We are monitoring this case," she informed.
The minister said that forest and land fires always occur during the dry season. However, as per the ministry's observations, the current conditions are also being influenced by an increase in temperatures.
"The hot temperature is also one of the factors in increasing land and forest fires. Usually in Jakarta, the average is 33 degrees Celsius. In Cirebon, it is 36 degrees Celsius today. Eastern Indonesia is usually the hottest and it (the temperature in the region) could reach 39 degrees Celsius," she disclosed.
She then lauded the work of regional governments, the National Police, and the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) in putting out fires.
"Thank you to regional officers for their hard work, including the state-owned forestry company, Perhutani for handling the fires. We must continue to work together," she stated.