The Function of Drilled Wells is to Prevent Fires in Peatlands

The action of wetting peatland areas and production forest areas that are prone to drought with the aim of preventing forest and land fires (Karhutla) is one of the work programs of the LPHD 4 Karhutla Patrol Team (TPK). KPSHK together with 4 LPHDs in Buntoi, Gohong, Kalawa and Mantaren I villages plan to build drilled wells as a peat forest protection and restoration program.

“The construction of drilled wells aims to protect peat forest areas from fire disasters, apart from extinguishing fires, they can be used to wet the surrounding forest areas when the dry season enters,” said Sarianto as Technical Officer (TO) for Rehabilitation/Conservation of KPSHK.

Peatland drilled wells are artificial wells made in peatlands using soil drilling machines, with the aim of being used as a water source for wetting peatland areas and used as a water source for extinguishing fires if forest and land fires (Karhutla) occur in peat forests. Kalimantan is known as one of the lungs of the world, characterized by extensive areas of forest canopy cover and thick peatlands as carbon sinks.

“Before the PTEHG activity, drilled wells were built by BRG. In their current condition, some are active (still functioning) and some are inactive (not functioning),” said Sarianto

Preventing forest and land fires in peat forests is an intention that is in line with the sustainable community forest system scheme. Peat forests have benefits as a carbon sink, a source of energy for humans, as agricultural land and an alternative for improving the economy of local communities.

According to Sarianto, in constructing a drilled well, there are several things that need to be taken into account, including determining based on the map the location of the peat area for the construction of the drilled well, equipment for the drilled well, such as a pump machine, drilling iron, vise wrench, pipe wrench, paralon pipe, etc.

“Currently, 10 drilled wells have been built in each village and their locations are on the HP and HD boundaries,” said Sarianto

In the dry season, peat forest conditions dry out, hot temperatures that persist for a long period of time are very likely to trigger a number of dry leaves and twigs that are piled up to catch fire. Forest and land fires on peatlands have the risk of burning until the deep layers of peat dry out, spreading below the surface of the soil, requiring hours of extinguishing and patrolling burned areas for days.

The location for the construction of a peat forest drilled well is determined based on the characteristics of the peat which is susceptible to burning in the dry season, the area with dense trees but far from water sources, and the border of the Village Forest with Production Forest.

With the drilled well, Sarianto hopes that the TPK and TPH teams can use the drilled well infrastructure facilities to deal with forest fire disasters, land wetting, and the Village Forest can be well maintained so that it doesn’t burn again.

Author: Aris

Editor: Aftrinal

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