Indonesia president orders action to handle fires

Indonesian president orders relevant ministers, local authorities to handle forest fires

Indonesia president orders action to handle fires

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered relevant ministers and local authorities in peat-rich Riau province to handle forest fires that have been sending out heavy smoke threatening health and disrupting flight operations.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says Friday the president gave three weeks for the integrated operation which included firefighting, health treatment and law enforcement.

The World Resources Institute says the fires in Indonesia have spiked to the highest levels since last June's haze emergency.

More than 55,400 people have been suffering various ailments due to the smoke.

National police Col. Agus Riyanto said police have arrested 27 suspects.

Updated : 2021-02-25 05:08 GMT+08:00