Number of S Kalimantan Hotspots Up 100 Percent

Source: Kompas – July 22, 2011
By Jimmy Hitipeuw

The number of hotspots detected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite in South Kalimantan Province, increased drastically this year. “Based on monitoring by NOAA’s satellite, the number of hotspots in South Kalimantan last weekend was 232, or up 100 percent from 2010,” Suhardi Atmoredjo, the head of the South Kalimantan forestry office, said here on Thursday. “However, the number of hotsports had decreased after rains falling in the province lately,” he said.

The hotspots were found among other things in Hulu Sungai Selatan (HSS), Banjaar, Tanah Laut (Tala) and Tapin districts. None hotspot was detected by NOAA satellite in Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan Province. “Every object reflecting light above 42 degree Celsius at noon and 37 degrees Celsius at night will be recorded by NOAA satellite,” he said.

He explained that hotspots are not the same with fire spots which could cause fires. He also predicted that the hotspots in East Kalimantan would disappear in September during rainy season. South Kalimantan has recorded fires in a total area of 60 hectares this year, a bit up from those in 2010, according to him. “All the
fires were outside forest area. We, however, continue to be alert and are ready to tackle any fire if it occurs in forest area.”

The Indonesian government has promised to cut the number of hotspots by 20 percent per year to meet Indonesia’s pledge to reduce its emissions by 26 percent by 2020. In 1982-83 and 1994, forest fires in Indonesia had destroyed 6.4 million hectares of forests, especially in East Kalimantan. Indonesia’s forest area reaches over 130 million hectares, the world’s third largest after Brazil and Congo.

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