In a tragic incident, a fire broke out on Thursday at around 7 p.m. local time to engulf the Wae Wuul Nature Reserve in Labuan Bajo of West Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
The fire makes dozens of visitors who were staying at a local diving resort were trapping. But there are no casualties from the incident.
The fire broke out in four locations in the nature reserve. Two hot spots were reachable by land while the other two were reachable only by sea. And the hot spots and the subsequent forest fire did not spread to Komodo Island.
The Wae Wuul Nature Reserve is on the westernmost coast of the island of Flores, which is about 46 kilometers to the east of Komodo Island, separated by Rinca Island.
West Manggarai Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Bambang Wibowo said on Friday that authorities were able to extinguish the flames that had trapped the guests at the CN Dive Resort located in the nature reserve.
Nurul Hayati, a diver who was staying at the resort, said that she saw the fire heading in the direction of the resort at around 7 p.m. She said that the fire started to die down around 12 a.m. because of the rocky cliffs surrounding the resort. She said that officers from the West Manggarai Disaster Mitigation Agency arrived at around 12 a.m. to put out the fire with help from people at the resort and that the police arrived at around 3 a.m.
Bambang said that wildfires were frequent during the dry season due to the highly flammable vegetation.