APRIL Group Strengthens Fire Prevention Focus with Fire Danger Period Declaration

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

  • Fire Danger Period declared in all APRIL concession areas in Riau Province, Indonesia, until 30 September 2019
  • Declaration period is key tool in APRIL’s collaborative approach to fire prevention during dry seasons

Kerinci, Indonesia – APRIL Group has declared a Fire Danger Period across all its concession areas in Riau Province, Indonesia, from 1 July through to 30 September 2019. The declaration is a key tool in the company’s efforts to restrict the use of fire by third parties in at risk landscapes and supports its commitment to working with government agencies, other concession holders and communities during the annual dry season.

“Declaring a Fire Danger Period serves as an alert to be vigilant for fires during the dry season,” said Craig Tribolet, Sustainability Operations Manager, APRIL Group. “It also signals to local communities that fire restrictions will come into force in APRIL managed forest areas, which means that they cannot light a fire in the open air.”

Notice boards, village meetings and other communication tools will be used to inform communities of the Fire Danger Period. “Our key focus is to raise awareness and prevent fires from starting,” added Tribolet.

APRIL helps to combat the risk of fire through its community-focused Fire Free Village Program that develops local communities’ knowledge, capability and resilience in fire management. Under the program, local communities are provided with tools and information to improve their understanding of fire management and increase access to alternative sustainable farming systems - both of which are critical to making better decisions on land use management and achieving a fire free landscape.

Established in 2015, APRIL’s Fire Free Village Program has engaged with 77 communities spanning more than 622,112 hectares, reducing burnt area by 90%.

“Over 80% of fires we have attended in the past 12 months are related to land preparation by small land holders. We need to work closely with our neighboring communities to ensure they understand the risks of burning at the wrong time of year,” said Sailal Arimi, Fire Prevention Manager for APRIL.

“Our fire-fighting teams work hard across the whole year to ensure a high level of preparedness and fire suppression capability, but we also need the support of people across the province to continue to reduce the number of fires we see every year,” he added.

Fire prevention is a key focus of APRIL’s integrated landscape fire management approach and the fire management cycle, with community-focused education and awareness programs emphasising the damage that an uncontrolled fire can cause to people and communities.

APRIL will increase ground and air patrols by fire crews and work actively with local communities on fire prevention during the declared Fire Danger Period. To date, APRIL has invested more than US$9 million in fire suppression resources. The company has 920 Rapid Response Team members, including 260 professional fire fighters.

APRIL also operates a 24-hour Fire Hotline (+62 811 707 2121) to enable people to report fires occurring within or near its concession areas.