Indonesian police have stepped up law enforcement against those allegedly damaging forests as the country has been preparing precautionary measures amid the risks of severe drought.
The Indonesian national police have declared two firms as suspects of involvement in forest fires and raised the number of suspected persons to 96, the National Police’s spokesman Senior Commissioner Awi Setiyono said on Tuesday.
The move came as authorities carried out measures in anticipation of the risks of the drought which was forecast by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency to peak from June to August.
Practices of burning forests or bushes have often been found during land clearing activities for opening new oil palm plantations in Indonesia, with the fires frequently expanding to larger areas, sending thick smokes to neighboring countries and resulting in respiratory problems and huge financial losses.
Indonesia has created artificial rains in the main Sumatra Island and Kalimantan Island since May and are preparing to create more when needed as the peak of the drought season has not terminated.
Both islands have frequently suffered from bush and forest fires, especially during the dry season. The government has made a policy on averting potentials of the catastrophe as early as possible.