PEKAN BARU, March 12 (NNN-ANTARA) — The Indonesian government has deployed 10 helicopters and a Cassa aircraft to extinguish forest and land fires in Riau Province, Sumatra Island, reported Antara news agency.
The aerial fire-fighting efforts to put out the wildfires were supported by the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry (KLHK), National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), Indonesian Police (Polri), and local private plantation companies, Edwar Sanger, deputy commander of the Forest Fire Emergency Response Task Force, stated here, Tuesday.
Of the 10 helicopters, one Kamov KA-32 and a Mi8-MTV helicopter are from the BNPB, one Bell 412 helicopter from KLHK, one Puma and a Bell 412 helicopter from TNI, and a Bell 429 helicopter from Polri.
The TNI has also deployed a Cassa 212 aircraft that is used by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) for weather modification activities.
Private company APP Sinarmas has deployed two Superpuma helicopters and an Mi-8 helicopter to strengthen the task force in the efforts to fight wildfires.
The BNPB had deployed a Kamov KA-32 helicopter to conduct water bombing 123 times to extinguish forest and land fires in Teluk Meranti, Pelalawan District, Riau Province, on Monday, March 11, 2019.
The BPPT conducted a total of 20 sorties using a Cassa 212 aircraft to sow 15,800 kilograms of salt to induce artificial rain.
Since January 2019, wildfires have gutted a total area of 1,761 hectares in Riau’s coastal region.