The Indonesian government has deployed thousands of troops and police to quell forest fires after declaring an emergency in six provinces in Sumatra and Borneo.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Agus Wibowo said the rising number of hotspots with 124 of them was considered strong enough to cause a nationwide fire this morning.
Wibowo said the government had declared an emergency in Riau, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Jambi, South Kalimantan and Central Borneo with flammable peatlands.
Accordingly, the authorities deployed 5,679 additional members to five territories through cooperation between the military, police and mitigation agencies.
In addition, it also deployed aircraft capable of performing water bomb operations. In Riau, the disaster authorities provided 17 helicopters and another 10 assisted by private companies, the military and the forestry ministry.
Inter-news agencies reported in Pekanbaru, Riau, that some teachers and students were wearing masks in the classroom and they were urged to limit outside activities due to haze problems.
In a statement, the Cabinet Secretariat said Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who was on his way to the island of Sumatra, urged his staff from the army chief to leave the field to jointly stop the forest fires as the state of emergency announced.