A forest and land fire task force's officer is trying to extinguish the hotspot. (Image via The Strait Times)

Hotspots increase in Sumatera to 610 despite water-bomb and rain

Despite the local government’s effort in water-bombing the hotspots and even, nature itself lent its hand through the rain, the hotspots in the South Sumatera region increased significantly instead.

On Tuesday, the satellite of the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) caught 1,361 hotspots in Indonesia, and 610 of it came from South Sumatera. This might be caused by the fire in the peat that was not touched by the water from the rain nor the water-bomb.

According to the Forestry Service of South Sumatera, the number of hotspots in the province increased significantly compared to three days ago where there were 63 hotspots last Saturday, 198 last Sunday, and 87 on Monday.

Even though the province was drenched by a 4-day rain from 24 to 27, the rain intensity was said only to extinguish the fire on the surface, but not in the peat. The region with the most hotspots was Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) regency with 505 hotspots.

The regency has the most spacious peat area especially in Pampangan, Cengal, and East Pedamaran districts. For these three districts, only water-bomb that works, thrown from the helicopter. These districts are inaccessible on land.

However, even the water-bomb was said only to extinguish the fire on the surface. The peat is 30-meter tall, and the fire in the peat was not extinguished by the water.

To prevent the hotspots from spreading, Forest and Land Fire Task Force (Satgas Karhutla) ordered personnel in Ogan Ilir regency to handle OKI regency. For the air quality, PM10 concentration reached the "Very Poor" category with the worst at 625 - 650 µg/m3.

Source: https://bit.ly/2pkoomr