Approximately 1.5 hectares of peatland in Meulaboh, West Aceh has been burnt down by a wildfire.
“The fire was extinguished on Friday morning, but on Saturday morning, the fire resurfaced and spread to a wider area,” a local coordinator at West Aceh disaster mitigation office, or BPBD, named Mashuri said.
A shortage of water also hinders the fire extinguishing process. Vehicular access to the peatland area is also a challenge. “Currently, our personnel, with the help of police and military officers, are attempting to put out the blaze,” Mashuri stated. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
For the last few months, Indonesia has been experiencing severe drought which has triggered forest fires in certain areas. Eight provinces in Indonesia are known to be prone to forest fires, but only six have declared an emergency status, as discussed by the Director of Forest Fire Mitigation of the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry, Raffles Panjaitan, recently. About 2,070 hotspots have been recorded by the government between January to July of 2019.
Image: The Jakarta Post