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Police on the hunt for four suspects in Riau's land fires

Publication Date : 07-03-2014

 

Police are searching for four people suspected of setting fires to clear forested land in Riau province.

"The four people are investors and sellers of conservation areas," chief of Riau Police Brig. Gen. Condro Kirono said in Pekanbaru on Friday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

He said the police were investigating seven cases centering on forest and plantation fires, one of which involved a company, but declined to reveal the name of the company.

About 10,502 hectares of forested land in Riau were burned over the last four weeks, causing thick haze over the area and disturbing daily life there, according to local Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) chief Syamsul Maarif said earlier that some 99 per cent of forest and plantation fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan were deliberate.

The dry season in Sumatra and Kalimantan has triggered forest and plantation fires. The haze has disrupted air transportation in the area and caused respiratory infections among thousands of locals.

 

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