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Indonesia deploys aircraft, soldiers to fight forest fire

 The Indonesian Government has launched a large air operation, involving helicopters, planes and thousands of soldiers, to fight forest fire that has spread haze to…

 The Indonesian Government has launched a large air operation, involving helicopters, planes and thousands of soldiers, to fight forest fire that has spread haze to Singapore and Malaysia.

The Spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency, Sutopo Nugroho, made this known to newsmen on Monday.

“As many as 21 helicopters and planes capable of carrying water bombing or creating artificial rains have been dispatched to the scene on Sumatra and Borneo islands.

“Soldiers, police and officials from the disaster agency, have been dispatched to the operation.
“This is the biggest operation in fighting to extinguish forest fire since 2014. Also dry weather, wide territory and shortage of water have hampered the operation,’’ he said.

Sutopo said that the police also deployed over 750 investigators to the scene.

He added that the haze had threatened people’s health as the air quality in the fire’s areas had been worsened.

Separately, Indonesian Minister for Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, said that as many as 266 firms had been under investigation for their involvement in the forest fires.

They said that stern actions would be taken against them, including suspension of business permit.

The government had frozen and revoked four plantation firms over the forest fires.

President Joko Widodo has ordered operation for re-wetting of peat land to stop the fires into the soil.
He said that companies would be required to build ponds at peat land areas to supply water needed when fires occur.

Report says Indonesia has been battered by such forest fires since the 1990s, as the ensuing haze shrouded neighboring ASEAN countries and caused losses of billions of dollars. (Xinhua/NAN)

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