Ni Komang Erviani, Karangasem, Bali – Wildfires have burned in the protected forest on the slopes of Mount Agung for the past week, with at least 645 hectares of forest affected.
Bali Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Made Rentin said on Wednesday that the wildfires had been burning on the slopes of the active volcano since Sept. 27 with no clear information on the cause.
The area is experiencing a prolonged drought.
The fire has spread to the forest in some villages in Kubu subdistrict in Karangasem Regency, including Baturinggit, Kubu, Ban and Dukuh villages.
"Because of the hot weather and prolonged drought, it is possible the wildfires could continue for longer," Rentin said.
Efforts to extinguish the fires have been conducted jointly by the authorities and members of local communities.
Rentin said they were closely monitoring the fires to ensure they did not catch residential areas.
With its summit reaching a height of 3,142 meters above sea level, Mount Agung is the island's tallest mountain and is considered a sacred area by the Balinese. (dre)