Weather modification technology to prevent forest fires: ministry

The years 2020 and 2021 have demonstrated the effectiveness of weather modification technology in preventing land fires

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Ministry of Environment and Forests has affirmed that weather modification technology will continue to be promoted to be an integral part of forest and land fire prevention and control efforts.

“The years 2020 and 2021 have demonstrated the effectiveness of weather modification technology in preventing ground fires. Humidification of areas predicted to experience drought can be immediate,” said the general manager of climate change control at the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Laksmi, during a virtual event on Thursday.

“We are optimistic that in the future, weather modification technology will become an inseparable part of the solution to controlling forest and ground fires,” she noted.

Weather modification is used to moisten soils, such as bogs, and to maintain humidity and solve the problem of smog from wildfires. It is also used to extinguish fires in large areas and to overcome the drought experienced in certain areas.

Laksmi pointed out that the weather modification effort was the result of collaborative work between the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the National Defense Force, the police and the National Agency for Research and Innovation, among others.

The ministry’s forest fire brigade, Manggala Agni, and the people, concerned about the land fires, are carrying out patrols to encourage fire prevention.

Since November 2021, integrated patrols, involving communities aware of land fires, have been carried out across Indonesia. Some 242 posts guarded 633 villages around them.

Independent Manggala Agni patrols were also carried out in 804 village posts in various provinces prone to forest and land fires.

Ministry data showed that during the period from January to November 2021, wildfires occurred over an area of ​​353,222 hectares, an increase from 296,942 hectares in 2020. It showed an increase of the area of ​​56,280 hectares or 15.93%.

Related news: Law enforcement is a tool to fight wildfires: Professor
Related news: Collaboration crucial to deal with wildfires in Indonesia: ministry
Related news item: National Police request for forest fires presented at COP 26