Indonesia: The Terra and Aqua satellite has detected a total of 528 hotspots of forest, plantation, and peatland fires across Sumatra Island, Indonesia. "As per satellite imagery and data, 386 hotspots were recorded in the Riau Province, which was highest in the country," said Slamet Riyadi, the head of the Pekanbaru Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG)’s data and information section.
Scarcity of rains in the province has triggered the spread of forest fires, which are often deliberately set by some local farmers or plantation companies with vested interests to clear the land. The government will address the forest fire issue through land and aerial operations. The land operation will involve, among others, military officers, police, forest fire brigade units, and civilian security personnel. The aerial operations will include air-borne water bombing and weather modification or cloud seeding technologies. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNBP) will rent the Be-200 Fire-Fighting Amphibious aircraft and the Kamov helicopter from Russia for water bombing.