BANJARBARU, S Kalimantan: Banjarbaru City has suffered 147 forest and land fires (karhutla) which covers 511 hectares area, mostly peatland and vacant land, said an official, Antaranews Kalsel reported.
Acting Head of Banjarbaru Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Ahmad Syarief Nizami here on Monday said the amount of burned land was accumulated from January to September 2018.
“The extent of the burnt land reaching 511 hectares is spread in a number of forest and land fire-prone areas, especially peatlands which are highly flammable in the dry season,” he said.
He mentioned that during the period of 1 January to 23 September 2018 there had been 147 forest and land fires which caused hundreds of hectares of land to burn.
Of the five sub-districts in Banjarbaru, the most burnt land occurred in the area of Landasan Ulin and Liang Anggang.
“The two sub-districts do have lots of vacant lands, including peatlands, which are very flammable, even if it has been burned it is very difficult to extinguish it,” he said.
According to him, his side was overwhelmed by putting out the flames that occurred on peatlands, such as in the Guntung Damar area, Sub-District ofLandasan Ulin, and could burn at any time.
“Peatlands in the Guntung Damar area are indeed difficult to extinguish and often burn even though it has been washed by rain, including water bombing using heli water bombing,” he said.
Banjarbaru alerted personnel of as many as 15 BPBD officers and aid personnel from the TNI (Army) and Polri (Police) and Manggala Agni (Fire Brigade) volunteers including South Kalimantan BPBD personnel.