PEKANBARU: The Riau province administration has extended the emergency alert status in order to maintain a tight grip on forest fires in the province, an official has said.
At a meeting at the Riau administration office on Thursday the administration concluded that the emergency alert status declaration had been effective in curbing forest fires. “The measures to mitigate forest fires have been effective after the provincial administration declared emergency alert status on Jan. 24, a few days after the Dumai and Rokan Hulu regencies did so,” Riau administration secretary Ahmad Hijazi said.
The current emergency alert status was scheduled to expire on April 30. It has now been extended until Nov. 30, Ahmad said.
Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency head Edwar Sanger said the extension did not mean that forest fires were on the rise in the province.
By establishing emergency standby status early, regions can ask for aid from the central government to tackle very small fires to prevent them from growing when the dry season begins. — JP