Regent Warns Against Slash-and-Burn as Fire Risk Heightened in Kalimantan

Diana Mariska
Forest fire illustration (Photo: Riau Online/DEFRI CANDRA)
Forest fire illustration (Photo: Riau Online/DEFRI CANDRA) - The government of Kubu Raya regency in West Kalimantan has recently warned the public against land clearing through the slash-and-burn method and reminded the grave consequences that may result from the action.

Kubu Raya regent Muda Mahendrawan said while large areas within the regency can be utilized for agriculture and other purposes, he reminded the public to avoid burning to clear the land.

“The large agricultural land in Kubu Raya is a big opportunity for public to benefit from, including to develop the region. However, it is also a challenge to encourage the public to change how they clear the land,” Mahendrawan said on Sunday, July 24, ad reported by Antara.

The regent asked all elements to understand the serious impacts of forest and land fires, especially during the dry season.

He also encouraged members of the public to find alternative methods to avoid slash-and-burn method, and he acknowledge the importance of providing necessary education to assist the public find new ways for land preparation and clearing.

“We have to collectively inform the public to adjust [their way] to the current condition and situation. Changing their perspectives is necessary,” Mahendrawan explained. “The solution on how to keep the land fertile while avoiding burning must be found.”

As Indonesia enters dry season, risk of forest and land fires increases in many regions.

Besides in Kalimantan, hotspots are constantly reported in Sumatra and Nusa Tenggara.

Earlier this month, the disaster mitigation office (BPBD) in Riau province confirmed that forest and land fires had burned at least 85-hectare area in Rokan Hilir regency in the province.

Head of BPBD Riau M Edy Afrizal said his office has been working with the military, the police, and forest fire control unit Manggala Agni to continue the attempt to put out fires in three locations in the regency.

“The three locations of the forest and land fires in Rokan Hilir are Labuhan Tangga Besar, Teluk Nilap, and Raja Bejamu,” Afrizal confirmed on July 13.

Tag # land and forest fires # forest and land fires # west kalimantan # kubu raya regency # kubu raya # dry season # natural disaster in indonesia

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