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Riau Fire Could Spread
Riau forest fire at Bengkalis region, Riau (28/2). ANTARA/Lanud Roesmin Nurjadin
Saturday, 01 March, 2014 | 10:22 WIB
Riau Fire Could Spread

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Pekanbaru station said that the forest fires in Riau could potentially spread because there was a small possibility of rain.

During the coordination meeting of the firefighter task force, Pekanbaru BMKG Chief Sugarin said that based on satellite monitoring, rain could potentially happen in West Sumatra while in Riau there was no convective cloud.  This will cause artificial rain to be inefficient. "On the Riau sky, there is only smoke," he said.

Sugarin said that Tera and Aqua satellites detected 139 fire hotspots at a number of areas in Riau on Thursday, February 27, 2014. The Area with the most hotspots is still Bengkalis, with 55 hotspots. Visibility is less than 1 kilometer.

The fire forced the Riau government to issue an Emergency Response Letter to Mitigate Haze, effective from February 25 to March 12, 2014. Riau has asked the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) to help provide firefighting equipment by land and air.

The Riau Plantation Department recorded 7,000 hectares of land burnt by the month-long fire. As a result, the people has been threatened by a loss of their livelihood. "All plantations, not just the people's but also plantations belonging to companies were also burnt," said Zulher, the Plantation Department Chief, last Wednesday.

RIYAN NOFITRA