TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Acting Head of Central Java’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Sarwa Pramana used an unusual strategy to overcome Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing’s forest fires by ordering his agency members to hire the services of rain shamans.
“I ordered the Temanggung, Wonosobo, and Magelang’s BPBD acting heads to utilize local prudence by hiring rain shamans (pawang hujan),” said Sarwa yesterday.
As it turns out, his decision was based on past experiences where he hired a rain shaman from Central Java to fight a wildfire in Riau, with an end result that he deemed pretty successful.
“Hopefully Temanggung, Wonosobo, and Magelang would mobilize upon mobilizing rain shamans,” he said.
Temanggung District’s BPBD Edi muryanto explained that fire engulfed 245.1 hectares at Mount Sindoro since Friday and affected 238 hectares of land in Mount Sumbing since Monday, September 10.
Strong winds coupled by dry vegetation in the area was deemed to be the culprit in the series of forest fires at two of Indonesia’s most known mountains.
Other than using the assistance of rain shamans, Temanggung’s BPBD acting head Gito Walngadi has initially mobilized a joint team that has manually suppressed the fires with water hoses, consisting of BPBD members, Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), National Police, search and rescue team, and volunteers.
He further ordered the use of aerial firefighters to extinguish the forest fires at the area, “We proposed the use of helicopter water bombing to help extinguish the fires,” said the BPBD Temanggung acting head yesterday.