JAKARTA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has deployed 100 soldiers to forest fire-stricken area in Sumatra Island as the flame forces airports and schools to close in the island and Kalimantan Island, officials said.
Landscape aerial photography in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, Indonesia is seen being shrouded in thick haze smoke on September 13, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
Millions tons of water have been poured down through water bombings to extinguish the fire in 5,071 hotspots across the country, spokesman of national disaster management agency Agus Wibowo said on Friday..
The extra number of soldiers would backed up nearly 10,000 soldier, police, disaster agency personnel and communities, who have been struggling to put out the fire, Agus said.
The spokesman stressed that the personnel have tried hard to douse the flame, but failed.
"(The hotspot areas) have been poured down with water bombings for several times, but the fire keeps burning. However, the personnel will not give up," Agus told Xinhua in a text message, adding rains on Friday in some parts of the fire stricken-areas proved to a relief to curb the fire.
The haze from forest fire has forced authorities to shut down airports in Kalimantan Island due to poor visibility.
Forest fire has frequently happened in Indonesia as growers use fires to clear lands for opening a new plantation, such as for growing palm and pulp plantation. But the fire has often raged out of control especially during the dry season, resulting haze spreading to neighboring countries.