President Joko Widodo has threatened to sack military officers fighting forest fires if they fail to extinguish the flames.
Jokowi also promised to allocate funds for high-tech equipment to tackle the blazes.
Earlier, Indonesia deployed thousands of military and police officers to stop forest fires after the government declared emergency in six provinces across Sumatra and Borneo.
“I phoned the military commander and the chief of police to tell them to replace those who can’t resolve forest and land fires,” Jokowi said during a meeting at the presidential palace. He also warned the firefighters to not underestimate small fires as they might get bigger.
Indonesian farmers are known to use fire to clear lands during the dry season. However, this causes a haze which could spread to neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. Jokowi is set to make official visits to Malaysia and Singapore this week.
According to Minister of Political, Legal, and Security affairs, Wiranto, Indonesia has detected 975 hotspots this year with 135,000 hectares of land burned across 18 provinces. President Jokowi has stated that the hotspots should be detected with modern equipment such as drones.
Source: Channel News Asia