March 30, 2020

Firefighting ongoing while COVID-19 spreads

JAKARTA ( - Firefighters from the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry are working on the ground to combat the expansion of forest and land fires, especially in Sumatra and Kalimantan, while also engaging to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Efforts on the ground to tackle the fires are responsibilities that must continue in the midst of the increasingly widespread COVID-19 outbreak, as confirmed by Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya in a previous report by (Mar 23).

Of course, forestry authority teams cannot work from home in trying to combat the spread of fires. Instead, efforts to battle these fires involve working on the ground in the affected areas. 

The ministry, through its social media platform which provides specific updates on efforts to deal with forest and land fires, is also reporting on its participation in preventing the transmission of the coronavirus by spraying disinfectant in certain locations in several provinces. 

The following photos from a recent ministry Twitter update (Mar 30) depict the mopping up process after the extinguishing of fires at spots in Pekanbaru, Riau province.

Avoiding serious complications

Even though it is their duty, the ministry's firefighter teams deserve appreciation for the efforts they are undertaking during the spread of COVID-19 in the provinces in which they're operating.

The photos below, which were taken from a recent ministry update report (Mar 24), show a firefighter team working on putting out fires in Rupat in Riau’s Bengkalis regency. 

There will be serious complications if haze-causing fires occur at the same time as COVID-19 continues to spread. Hopefully, such complications can be avoided.

All parties, including and especially the government, are continuing to refocus their efforts on preventing the spread of the coronavirus, while firefighting efforts are also still underway.

Minister Nurbaya, as reported by (Mar 23), said that preventing the spread of forest and land fires cannot be done through "work from home" and because these efforts are a very high priority, teams must remain in the field to deal with them.



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