Herman Deru, the governor of Indonesia's South Sumatra Province, said that the determination of the state of emergency was carried out after the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (BMKG) issued the forecast for this year's dry season. This week, the relevant agencies of his government will immediately hold a large gathering to prepare, and then establish an emergency alert.
Deru said that the current community's awareness of not burning land is increasing year by year. In addition to not burning, the community is now more active in preventing forest and land fires in its environment.
This can be seen from the reduction in the number of villages prone to forest and land fires from 140 to 90 this year.
He said: "Such measures are being taken to prevent and involve the community. We hope that 2020 will become the standard for forest and land fire prevention, and this standard must be followed in 2021 and the following year."
The short-term solution is to socialize and provide assistance to the community so as not to burn the land. Drew said that the local government is helping communities process heavily felled grass on land that has been burned into fertilizer.
As for the long-term solution, the local government is trying to make the vacant land immediately managed. Most of the idle land belongs to the state and companies.
At the same time, Sumsel Iriansyah, head of the Indonesian Regional Disaster Management Bureau (BPBD), said that if an emergency alert state is established, the provincial government can immediately apply for equipment and personnel assistance from an early age.
He said: "After establishing an emergency alert, we can submit the helicopter fleet to the National Police and it will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry."
Palembang Hartanto, head of climatology at BMKG, revealed that his party predicts that this year's dry season will be even drier than 2020. It is expected that early March will still be at the peak of the rainy season. Entering April and May, the dry season began to hit South Sumatra.
Hartanto said: "The possibility of forest and land fires is beginning to emerge. The peak of the dry season is in August. This feature is still a normal dry season. The La Niña phenomenon that has occurred since last year is still happening."
He added: "However, it started to weaken and returned to normal in May this year. Now in southern Sumatra, some areas have entered the dry season in coastal areas, such as OKI, Banyuasin and Musi Banyuasin."
It will still rain in this dry season, but the intensity is very low. At the peak of the dry season, the probability of rain every 10 days is less than 50 mm. Hartanto said the intensity is very dry.
"The weather is often very hot, dry, and there is no rain, which will expand the possibility of forest and land fires. From now until April is a transitional period, potentially extreme weather. The government has the right to take emergency measures to issue early warnings. "He said.