Fire blazes on a protected forest on the slope of Mount Slamet in Central Java on Saturday. (Antara Photo/Idhad Zakaria)

Fire Consumes Protected Forest on Slope of Mt. Slamet in Central Java


SEPTEMBER 21, 2019

Jakarta. Fire still blazes on a protected forest on the slope of Mount Slamet in Brebes, Central Java, on Saturday. Firefighters have been trying to put out the fire since Tuesday but had their work cut out for it by strong winds, dry vegetation and difficult terrains.

Hartanto, a forestry department official based in Pekalongan, said as of Saturday five hectares of the protected forest area were still on fire.

"About 15 hectares of the forest had been consumed by fire. The district police chief ordered us to come down from the slope at 5 p.m. yesterday to avoid casualties. We managed to put out the fire on 10 hectares of the forest area. The rest is still blazing since the fire has moved to the top of the cliffs," Hartanto told BeritaSatu TV on Saturday.

Appeals to look for volunteers to help combat the fire were launched on Instagram from accounts such as @selamatkanslamet and @gunungindonesia. A post on the @selamatkanslamet IG account said, "Mount Slamet needs your help."



A volunteer said the difficult terrain had really slowed down firefighters camped on the slope of the mountain. 

"Some of the fires had caught on rock cliffs, and they were getting bigger," Samirun said.

Indonesia has been fighting massive forest fires on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, which sent choking haze as far away as Malaysia and Singapore, in the past month.