North Sumatra forests under threat of fire

  North Sumatra forests under threat of fire

27 April 2009

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Indonesia — The Climatology, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) is anticipating widespread forest fires in the northern provinces of Sumatra later this month.

The agency said North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau and Jambi provinces are areas with high vulnerability to forest fires. Extreme temperatures, low humidity, fast winds and low rainfall within the regions will provide the perfect weather conditions for forest fires, it added.

“Actually, the dry season will contribute to the overall impact of these Sumatran forests,” BMKG official Joko Wigianto said Monday.

The risk of forest fires in north Sumatra is even greater, with the region being home to several areas of peat land.

“Peat forest is far more flammable than other kinds of forest,” said Joko.

The BMKG has sent warnings of potential forest fires to the Forestry Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry and local administrations he said.

However, he said the warnings were not received warmly.

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