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Riau authorities prepare helicopters for forest fires

Monday, 30 May 2017

JAKARTA: Authorities in Riau have prepared 5 helicopters with water bombing abilities as the forest-fire-prone province braces for the dry season. Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Edward Sanger said on Monday that the S-61 Sikorsky helicopters had been stationed at Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base in Pekanbaru.

“(The helicopters) have been equipped with buckets for water bombing,” Sanger said, referring to the Mi-171, Mi-8 and Mi-172 helicopter types, each of which has the ability to carry four tons of water.

The operational areas of the choppers cover Pekanbaru and Riau’s eastern coastal area and southern area.

“Riau will see a very dry season in June that could trigger forest fires, especially in peat lands in eastern coastal areas,” he said, adding that the province had a forest fire alert status until 30 November. This year’s dry season was expected to be similar to that of 2015, when fires in the province polluted the region with smoke.

The Pekanbaru Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) recorded seven hot spots on Saturday.

Source by: Internet

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