Fire hotspots escalate in Sumatra, Kalimantan

EoF News / 09 August 2017
Forest fires in West Kalimantan in 2015. (C)EoF West Kalimantan network

As fire hotspots escalate in Sumatra and Kalimantan islands early this month, Eyes on the Forest coalition analyzed distribution of fire hotspots during week 1-7 August 2017 as its number on peatland in Sumatra reached 351 (NASA FIRM The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite /VIIRS) sensor.

For HTI concession (industrial timber plantation) the number of hotspots detected using NASA FIRM VIIRS is 69, palm oil plantations 13. Tesso Nilo National Park 57, Giam Siak Kecil landscape 19, and Ecosystem Restoration concession of PT Alam Bukit Tigapuluh (located in Jambi province) 19.

By HTI concession, 69 hotspots detected where PT. Sari Hijau Mutiara had most hotspots detected in the week with 25 MODIS. Meanwhile, by palm oil plantation, PT Teguh Karsa Wana Lestari had recorded with 8 hotspots.

Peatlands had most hotspots rather than mineral soil 351, totaling 429.  

EoF West Kalimantan Network released distribution of forest fires in July with 151 hotspots based on NASA FIRM Modis censor. HTI concessions had 32 hotspots, while palm oil plantations 12.

BNPB website said that based on Aqua Terra satellite, SNNP on catalog modiss LAPAN, on Sunday (6/8/2017) 150 hotspots detected in West Kalimantan, with 109 hotspots are at medium level (confidence with 30-79 percent) and 41 hotspots at high level (more than 80 percent). It is the province who has most hotspots detected currently among total of 282 hotspots nationally.  

At least 5 provinces have declared emergency status of forest and land fires, namely Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and South Kalimantan. BNPB analyzed that some areas are facing repetitive burnings as 2015 and 2016 such as Tesso Nilo National Park (Riau), Ogan Komering Ilir district (South Sumatra, and borderline of Riau and Jambi provinces as fires in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park was heading eastern to the forest areas where culprits expanded plantations.

Provincial Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) of Kalimantan Barat estimated that 1.6 million hectares of peatland the province were at brink of burning during the current drought season. The peatland stretch over 174 villages of 14 districts/cities, said West Kalimantan BPBD’s Head TTA Nyarong on Wednesday (9 Aug) as reported by Republika daily.