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A BNPB’s Kamov helicopter, one of the two helicopters stationed at Syamsudin Noor Airport in Banjarbaru to water-bomb hotspots in South Kalimantan / photo: banjarmasin.tribunnews

Four hotspots in South Kalimantan detected by satellite

TANJUNG, South Kalimantan—In order to fight and reduce land and forest fires, Indonesia continues to monitor  hot spots everyday, either via satellite or by patrols on the ground.

On 19 September, Banjarmasin Tribune reported that one of the methods used to monitor by satellite is via data from Aqua Terra (MODIS).

MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument of the Aqua and Terra satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon.

The data obtained from Aqua Terra by the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) of Tabalong showed that there were four hotspots observed in September 2016.

Map of Tabalong Regency in South Kalimantan
Map of Tabalong Regency in South Kalimantan

These four hotspots, observed on 14 and 15 September, were located in the districts of Haruai, Upau, and Kelua in Tabalong Regency.

Head of Tabalong BPBD, Alfian, confirmed this observation: "If there is a hot spot, we follow up with detailing the location as accurately as possible."

After the details of the location is confirmed, a survey to the location is conducted and if indeed there is a fire, the operation to distinguish begins, followed by an investigation.

Other steps are also carried out, such as inventory and reporting the hotspot to the residence post center, provincial operation control center and action control center at the National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB).

This is also carried out in coordination with the head of the district and rural village elders of the hotspot location.

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Antara News had earlier reported on 12 September that Tabalong had hotspots in a total of 11 locations, with two being new discoveries. With this latest discovery of four new hotspots on 19 September, there are now hotspots in 13 locations in Tabalong this year.