Jakarta. A joint team is currently fighting to extinguish a forest fire on the slopes of Mount Ciremai National Park in Kuningan district, West Java.
"We are still handling the situation because the fire has not been extinguished completely," Agus Mauludin, head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) in Kuningan, said on Tuesday (02/10).
The agency is assisted by the Indonesian Military (TNI), National Police and local community organizations in its efforts to put out the fire. This is the third forest fire in the park in recent times.
The first destroyed about 94 hectares, and the second 9.8 hectares. The latest fire has so far destroyed 144 hectares of forest since it was detected on Sunday, Agus said. He added that it likely started in the Erpah Cibuntu area on the northern side of the mountain.
The fire broke out a hilly area at an altitude of between 500 meters and 1,300 meters above sea level, which is dominated by reeds and shrubs, slowing down the team's efforts to extinguish it.
Agus said there are concerns that the fire could expand. Mount Ciremai is an active volcano with its peak about 3,078 meters above sea level, making it the highest in West Java. The mountain's moderate slope makes it a popular destination for hikers.