Dramatic fire sweeps across hills in Indonesia's Komodo National Park

Officials said the island is uninhabited and no wildlife or tourists were hurt in the blaze.
Officials said the island is uninhabited and no wildlife or tourists were hurt in the blaze.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/KURNIAWAN_JACK

KOMODO ISLAND, INDONESIA (REUTERS, JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A dramatic fire swept across several hills on a small island in Indonesia's Komodo National Park this week.

The park, a popular tourist destination, is made up of three large islands and more than 20 smaller ones and is home to the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard.

Officials said the island is uninhabited and no wildlife or tourists were hurt in the blaze, which was extinguished after about eight hours.

The fire burned savannah vegetation on 10 hectares of the park on Gili Lawa Darat Island, which is a part of the park, in West Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara.

The fire broke out on Wednesday night and firefighters only managed to put out the fire early Thursday, park head Budi Kurniawan said.

In early June, a fire burned 10 hectares of savannah on Komodo Island, following which the national park operator prohibited visitors from cigarette butt littering.

It took one day to extinguish that fire.

“Cigarette butts can start forest fires, so we need to ban cigarette stump littering," Budi had told Kompas.com.

He added that visitors who ignored the ban could face arrest.