Pekanbaru: Riau Governor Syamsuar issued a land and forest fire emergency preparedness status, effective February 11-October 31, 2020, as wildfires sporadically ravaged certain areas of 10 of the province’s 12 regencies and cities since early 2020.
The Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) was quoted by ANTARA in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau Province, on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, as stating that the land and forest fires have, so far, gutted some 271 hectares of land in the regencies of Siak and Bengkalis as well as Dumai City.
According to the agency, Siak Regency has suffered extensively from this early year's wildfires that ravaged 98.47 hectares of land, while land and forest fires destroyed a total of 60.90 hectares of land in Bengkalis Regency and 31.85 hectares in Dumai City.
On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, representatives of related agencies in Riau Province held a meeting in Pekanbaru by taking into account the current situation and condition of dry season and wildfires in several regencies and cities in the province.
"The issuance of land and forest fire emergency preparedness status also takes into account the same status that had earlier been announced by the authorities of three districts," Head of the Riau BPBD Edwar Sanger stated.
In 2019, some 75,871 hectares of land in total were severely ravaged by the wildfires, or significantly increased in comparison to the conditions in 2017 and 2018.
According to the authorized agencies' reports, Riau suffered from wildfires that gutted 6,866 hectares of land in 2017 and 37,236 hectares of land in 2018. (Antara)