South Sumatra, May 17, 2023 - APP Sinar Mas, together with its supplier partners, PT Bumi Mekar Hijau, PT Bumi Andalas Permai, PT SBA Wood Industries, PT Rimba Hutani Mas, PT. Tripupa Jaya, PT Bumi Persada Permai, and PT Sumber Hijau Permai, has taken significant steps to improve the preparedness to face the wildfire hazards in 2023. In anticipation of a more extreme dry season due to the influence of El Nino, APP Sinar Mas and its supplier partners have added 3 water bombing helicopters, making it a total of five helicopters, as needed in the affected regions. They have also increased the personnel of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) and Firefighting Brigade (FFB) by 100 percent.
This proactive measure aligns with the declaration of a state of emergency for the smoke disaster caused by Forest and Land Fires (Karhutla) by the South Sumatra Provincial Government (Pemprov Sumsel) through the Governor of South Sumatra's Decree Number 269 dated March 14, 2023.
Governor of South Sumatra, Herman Deru, who led the Karhutla Alert Assembly, expressed that "In 2023, our dry season will be extremely dry or tend to be affected by El Nino, making it drier. This should be a serious concern to prevent the occurrence of haze due to Karhutla."
Deru emphasized several key points that require attention, including the synchronization of provincial and district task forces, optimization of agricultural production equipment available to farmer groups to aid fire suppression, strengthening firefighting infrastructure and facilities, and trained personnel in the plantation and industrial forest firefighting teams.
"Immediately activate the existing fire posts in companies, fire-conscious communities, fire-conscious farmer groups, or others, as well as utilize village funds for Karhutla control according to the existing provisions," Herman Deru emphasized. Therefore, intensive efforts and collaboration among various parties are necessary to effectively mitigate fire hazards, he added.
He also expressed gratitude to all parties who have made efforts in the prevention and handling of Karhutla.
In the Karhutla Alert Assembly, APP Sinar Mas' supplier partners in the Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) and Musi Banyuasin regions, namely PT Bumi Mekar Hijau, PT Bumi Andalas Permai, PT SBA Wood Industries, PT Rimba Hutani Mas, PT. Tripupa Jaya, PT Bumi Persada Permai, and PT Sumber Hijau Permai, reaffirmed their commitment to provide Firefighting Brigade (FFB) personnel and Rapid Response Teams (RRT), along with transportation facilities and fire control equipment.
Panji Bintoro, Head of Firefighting Operations Management at APP Sinar Mas for the OKI region, explained that in the Karhutla Alert Assembly, APP Sinar Mas' supplier partners in OKI and Musi
Banyuasin presented the Situational Control Room (Sitroom) facility used to monitor real-time hotspot data for 24 hours through satellites. The central Sitroom is located at the fire base, connected to the Sitroom in each district. In addition, APP Sinar Mas' Bell 412 helicopters performed maneuvers around the Karhutla Alert Assembly location for four rounds. These helicopters are typically used by trained RRT members for conducting aerial patrols in hard-to-reach areas, rapid fire suppression, and preventing the spread.
Panji added that in the concession areas of APP Sinar Mas' supplier partners in OKI and Muba, the company also provides Superpuma helicopters specifically for water bombing with a capacity of 4,000 liters. Additionally, the supplier partner companies are equipped with firefighting machines of various sizes and Sambunesia Nozzles that can be used for direct attacks, extinguishing fires in peatlands, suppressing fire jumps, and cleaning up burned areas.
Previously, in February, APP Sinar Mas organized the Fire Fighters League IV, an event to assess the readiness and capacity of the company's Firefighting Brigade (FFB) personnel.
The activity was opened by the South Sumatra Police Chief, Brigadier General A Rachmad Wibowo. In addition, training on Karhutla prevention and control was conducted, involving 262 personnel from the South Sumatra Regional Police, Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI), Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), and the company's Firefighting Brigade (FFB), with trainers from the Manggala Agni Balai PPI in the Sumatra region.
"By optimizing all available resources and through strong collaboration among various parties, we are confident that we can effectively anticipate the occurrence of Karhutla disasters," said Panji. Panji also emphasized the need to strengthen community involvement in preventive activities through the Fire-conscious Community (Masyarakat Peduli Api, MPA), raising awareness through socialization, installation of warning boards, and procurement of other preventive tools. There is also collaboration in prevention through joint patrols, joint command posts, and territorial task forces, as well as security and law enforcement activities.