Chief of Police, TNI Commander Visit Riau to Check on Forest Fire

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  • An Indonesian soldier is seen amidst smoke as he tries to extinguish a peatlands fire in Pekanbaru, Riau province, Indonesia, August 6, 2019.

    An Indonesian soldier is seen amidst smoke as he tries to extinguish a peatlands fire in Pekanbaru, Riau province, Indonesia, August 6, 2019. "I phoned the military commander and the chief of police to tell them to replace those who can't resolve forest and land fires," Widodo told a co-ordinating meeting on tackling forest fires at the presidential palace. ANTARA FOTO/Rony Muharrman

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Chief of Police Gen. Tito Karnavian and TNI Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto will leave for Riau to review the current situations regarding the forest fires that have engulfed the province. They will also give briefings to firefighters.

    "The TNI Commander and the National Police Chief will personally observe the locations of the forest and land fires in Riau," Police Headquarters' spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said in Jakarta, Monday, July 12.

    Tito and Hadi, Dedi said, will also take charge of the process of mitigating land and forest fires in Riau. He said that Riau becomes a priority because the land fires are quite massive, affecting vast areas.

    To date, an area of 204.9 hectares has been consumed by fire in Riau.

    "In Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan, the fires were smaller even though the number of hotspots increased," Dedi said.

    In Riau, the police have named one company as a suspect for causing the fire, Sumber Sawit Sejahtera, due to negligence. The police also named 20 individuals as suspects. However, no one is arrested yet.

    A number of company officials, including the president director, have been questioned by the police.

    "Fifteen people were asked for information. From the board of directors, then the layer below it, as well as employees," said Dedi.