Community Patrol team on fire scene
The alert came in just this week from the dedicated team at the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project. Fires had broken out near the OuTrop research site in Borneo, and Mark Harrison needed help to bolster the efforts of the Centre for the International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatlands (CIMTROP) and the Community Patrol Team teams already in place to fight the growing flames.
Each year when the dry season arrives, so do the fires that can be deadly if they are not attacked from day one. This season in Central Kalimantan looks to be especially precarious.
OuTrop contacted us seeking emergency funding to help with the situation, and the Orangutan Conservancy is jumping in right away to provide some much-needed assistance.
As the letter from OuTrop’s Managing Director, Mark Harrison read:
“We’ve been talking with CIMTROP and members of the Community Patrol Team on how we will tackle the fires: CIMTROP’s fire-fighting team is one of the few out there on a daily basis to patrol and fight the fires. In Sabangau’s Natural Laboratory, where we have our main base, the patrol team has already extinguished two fires that were on the forest edge, there are reports of fires further south in the National Park, and in Kalampangan in the eastern Sabangau catchment the patrol team is now working 24 hours to stop a fire that has entered the forest there, an area about which we have just published research demonstrating the importance of this forest block for orangutan conservation. As well as supporting the fire-fighting teams, we need funds for a fire-watch tower and adding equipment. It has become very clear that 2014 is not just a brief fire season but could develop into a very serious one.”
If you’d like to join OC in our effort please visit our donate now page.
The firefighters face a wall of smoke from the flames nearby