Helicopters sent to help combat forest fires in Thailand’s Nakhon Nayok

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The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation deployed helicopters to contain the fires in Khao Falami by using water from Huai Prue Reservoir in Nakhon Nayok
Bangkok (NNT/VNA) – Forest fires continue to ravage Thailand’s central province of Nakhon Nayok, particularly Khao Falami in Khao Phra subdistrict, which is near Khao Yai National Park. Officers have rushed to extinguish the fires and prevent them from spreading into Khao Yai National Park. However, fires have now been detected in some areas of the national park.

Ten million riel reward for forest arsonists

The Phnom Penh Post | Khouth Sophak Chakrya |  24 January 2020

 

The Siem Reap provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said it will offer a 10 million riel ($2,500) reward to those who provide information regarding the suspects responsible for setting ablaze more than 20ha of kranhuong timber forest land in Banteay Srei district.

Department director Tea Kimsoth told The Post on Thursday that more than 20ha of kranhuong timber forest were secretly set on fire on Tuesday evening to lay illegal ownership of the land.

“Our specialist, as well as local authorities and residents in the communities, had been working to protect this forest since 2012. But offenders had burned the land in a blink of an eye.

“I will reward 10 million riel to anyone who can point us to the suspects,” he said.

Banteay Srei district deputy police chief Ros Sisovanna told The Post on Thursday that last year, more than 200ha of the kranhuong forests were completely cleared through burning. However, the culprits responsible had not yet been identified.

“In the case of this forest fire, we suspect that villagers who have houses and agricultural land near the area burned it secretly so that they could encroach on it.

“They must have wanted to expand their agricultural land, but we still have no evidence to present against them,” he said.

Seng Lorn, the chief of the Forestry Administration in the commune who led the operation to extinguish the fire on Tuesday, told The Post that authorities could not immediately gain access to the land due to the lack of roads in the area.

“We spent more than three hours to put out the flames. Because of the hot weather and the shortage in water supply, we don’t expect the burned kranhuong trees to recover until the rainy season,” he said.

Provincial Forestry Administration chief Mong Bunlim said the kranhuong timber forest area in the district covered 2,800ha, adding that the unprecedented fire was caused by people.

“Article 97 of the Forestry Law says that any person guilty of starting forest fires on purpose and without authorisation will face five to 10 years imprisonment,” he said.

Bunlim said the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries would gather residents and relevant departments at the beginning of the rainy season to replant kranhuong trees, which, in turn, would restore the forest.

Link: https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/ten-million-riel-reward-forest-arsonists

Police chief in Riau fired for lackluster performance in handling forest fires

Rizal Harahap| The Jakarta Post
Pekanbaru  | Wed, January 22, 2020

 

The Riau Police have fired a local police chief for his lackluster performance in handling land and forest fires in the province’s Pelalawan regency.

Second Insp. Hindro Renhard Panjaitan was dismissed from his position as Teluk Meranti Police chief after failing to address raging forest fires in Teluk Meranti district in Pelalawan, where fires and haze have been repeatedly experienced during the dry season.

Hindro’s dismissal was an indication of the police force’s determination to ensure officers’ performance and readiness in anticipating forest fires and haze, particularly since police personnel had committed to striving to mitigate land and forest fires long before the dry season came last year, said Riau Police chief Insp. Gen. Agung Setya Imam Effendi.

“Every police officer in Riau should be prepared and serious in handling land and forest fires. In the meantime, realizing the commitment of zero land and forest fires and zero haze is the focus of the Riau Police,” Agung said on Tuesday.

Separately, Pelalawan Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. M Hasyim Risahondua said that Hindro had been replaced by Second. Insp. Dimas, who previously worked in the police’s traffic unit.

“The dismissal is proof of the commitment in our efforts to anticipate and mitigate land and forest fires, especially in areas that see forest fires and haze every year,” Hasyim said. “If one lacks seriousness, one will face the consequence of being dismissed.”

He said personnel who were serious and anticipated forest fires would be rewarded.

“The reward will be in accordance with the intensity of their work in the field. All achievements will be reported to the Riau Police chief,” he said. (gis)

Link: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/01/21/police-chief-in-riau-fired-for-lackluster-performance-in-handling-forest-fires.html

New global study reveals the ‘staggering’ loss of forests caused by industrial agriculture

New global study reveals the ‘staggering’ loss of forests caused by industrial agriculture

The finding is “a really big deal,” says tropical ecologist Daniel Nepstad, director of the Earth Innovation Institute, an environmental nonprofit in San Francisco, California, because it suggests that corporate commitments alone are not going to adequately protect forests from expanding agriculture.

Researchers already had a detailed global picture of forest loss and regrowth. In 2013, a team led by Matthew Hansen, a remote-sensing expert at the University of Maryland in College Park, published high-resolution maps of forest change between 2000 and 2012 from satellite imagery. But the maps, available online, didn’t reveal where deforestation—the permanent loss of forest—was taking place.

Source Link: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/09/scientists-reveal-how-much-world-s-forests-being-destroyed-industrial-agriculture

Four killed in Indonesia forest fires, police arrest suspects

Four killed in Indonesia forest fires, police arrest suspects

PONTIANAK, Indonesia (AP) – Police in the Indonesian part of Borneo island have arrested more than a dozen people suspected of starting forest fires that have killed four people in the past month.

West Kalimantan police chief Didi Haryono said yesterday that two of the 27 people wanted by police died in blazes they started to clear land for planting. He said 14 people have been arrested so far.

They could be prosecuted under an environmental protection law that allows a maximum 10-year prison sentence for setting fires to clear land.

The national disaster agency says four people have died in West Kalimantan’s forest fires in the past month, including two suspects.

Millions of hectares burned in Indonesia during annual dry season fires in 2015 that spread a health-damaging haze across the region for weeks.

The disaster, estimated by the World Bank to have caused losses of USD16 billion, was exacerbated by the practice of draining swampy peatland forests for industrial plantations, making them highly combustible. Indonesia’s government imposed a moratorium on peatland development in 2016 but has made little progress with plans to restore such wetlands to their original condition.

Officials said the recent haze in West Kalimantan has diminished due to fire-fighting efforts.

Sahat Irawan Manik, an official with a local fire unit, said on Monday that conditions had especially improved in the provincial capital, Pontianak, and around the airport.

“There are still some fires in five districts but there are water bombing teams by the Disaster Mitigation Agency, which has deployed 10 helicopters to help extinguish the fires,” Manik said.

About 1,000 hectares of fires have been extinguished across the province, he said.

Raffles B. Panjaitan, director of investigation and forest protection at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said the number of “hotspots” in West Kalimantan had dropped to 21 on Monday from 60 on Sunday.

Panjaitan said that so far this year, 71,959 hectares of land have burned in forest fires compared with 165,464 hectares from January to July last year.

Link: https://borneobulletin.com.bn/four-killed-in-indonesia-forest-fires-police-arrest-suspects/

Thinning forests resulting in fuelwood shortage

Thinning forests resulting in fuelwood shortage

Water-bombing intensifies in Kuala Baram, raging forest fire worsens haze

Water-bombing intensifies in Kuala Baram, raging forest fire worsens haze

By Stephen Then

NATION | Sunday, 19 Aug 2018 | 

 

MIRI: The Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department in Miri has intensified aerial water-bombing operations to contain a raging forest fire in Kuala Baram district.

The fire has also worsened the haze, recording an Air Pollutant Index (API) level at 113 on Sunday (Aug 19) morning. A reading of 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 moderate and 101-200 unhealthy.

Miri Fire chief Supt Law Poh Kiong said the Bomba air unit will be dropping more water to control the flames from spreading.

“Yesterday, we carried out 70 rounds of aerial water-bombings.

“This morning, we did more rounds,” he said.

Fire-fighters are also on the ground battling the flames on peat soils.

The wildfire in Kuala Baram is one of the dozens that are burning throughout the state.

Authorities are also worried about the haze and smog coming from West Kalimantan.

There are already more than 120 huge fires raging in the area.

Those fires measuring one sq km in size are called hotspots as they can be detected by satellites even 100km above earth.

Source Link: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/08/19/water-bombing-intensifies-in-kuala-baram-raging-forest-fire-worsens-haze/#5asqd2vHrkYcdtfF.99

 

554 acres burnt in 178 Sarawak wildfires

554 acres burnt in 178 Sarawak wildfires

By Stephen Then

NATION | Friday, 17 Aug 2018 | 

MIRI: Some 554 acres (224ha) of forests throughout Sarawak have been burnt in 178 different wildfires since Aug 2.

The latest statistics from the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) showed that in the past 24 hours, firefighting teams statewide had been tackling 15 such wildfires.

The wildfires are in Miri, Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu, Mukah, Song and Bintulu districts.

According to the Bomba Sarawak operation center, there was a huge wildfire raging in Sri Aman over an area of some 100 acres (one acre is about the size of one football field).

Source Link: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/08/17/554-acres-burnt-in-178-sarawak-wildfires/#kBHkIX85ZyfhU7uM.99

 

 

 

238 open burning cases recorded this month

238 open burning cases recorded this month

SIBU: Sarawak recorded 238 open burning cases from July 1 until yesterday.

Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department director Nor Hisham Mohammad said 22 cases were reported daily over the past 10 days.

He added there was only spike in cases after July 15 due to the hot and dry weather. Before that,  the number was less significant.

“But, it is still below the daily threshold of 40 cases needed to activate the forest fire operation room.

“However, the current daily cases are still less compared to the highest reported cases in the last five years, which stood at 62 cases,” Nor Hisham said when contacted yesterday.

Open burning cases include bush, forest and peat soil fires.

Meanwhile, smoke was seen billowing from the bushes along Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce Road here.

Link: http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/07/27/238-open-burning-cases-recorded-this-month/

Indonesia works to prevent forest fires during Asian Games

Indonesia works to prevent forest fires during Asian Games

VNA 

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) has taken measures to prevent forest fires and smoke as the country will host the 2018 Asian Games (ASIAD 18) next month, which is the regular time of forest and peatland fire in Indonesia each year.

Jakarta and Palembang in Sumatra are set to host about 11,000 athletes and 5,000 officials from 45 Asian countries for the games between August 18 and September 2.

Raffles B Panjaitan, Director of Forest and Land Fire at the MoEF, said that Indonesia has overcome smoke over the last two years. Forest fire hotspots in some high-risk provinces such as South Sumatra, Jambi and Riau were timely discovered and handled immediately.

A research group analyses data every day to give warnings and tackle forest and land fires by working closely with firefighting forces of the MoEF, police, army, private companies, and community.

Currently, the MoEF has deployed groups of firefighters to 11 high-risk provinces, along with nearly 2,000 personnel from other forces to prevent forest and land fires.

In addition, firefighting teams have been dispatched to nature reserve centers and national parks. In South Sumatra alone, five teams were set up and received training in fire prevention.

Regular forest and land fires have caused huge damage in Indonesia. In 2015, smoke from widespread fires affected the air environment of regional countries including Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.-VNA

Link: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/indonesia-works-to-prevent-forest-fires-during-asian-games/135059.vnp