Monday, March 20

Thick smoke and fire on fourth day of dumpsite blaze


FIRE BREAKER: A fire-break trench measuring nearly six-foot deep has been dug to prevent the fire from spreading.

SIBU: A thick cloud of smoke and fire continues to rage as the dumpsite fire at Seng Ling Road entered its fourth day with authorities working round the clock to extinguish the fire.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC), Sibu Water Board and the Fire and Rescue Department have been racing against time, trying to contain the fire.

A resident rang up The Borneo Post, voicing grave concern that the fire was still raging.

“When I looked out from my balcony around 6pm just now (yesterday), I was shocked to see a cloud of black smoke engulfing the area.

“The smell was just awful and we had to close all our windows to keep out the smoke,” he said on condition of anonymity.

It was learned that the fire had spread towards the back portion of the dumpsite as trenches had been dug in the front.
Earlier, SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said a fire-break trench measuring nearly six-foot deep had been dug to prevent the fire from spreading.

He said the water board was linking a two-inch pipe in from the main road to help fight the fire.

He also disclosed that the linking of the two-inch pipe was just a temporary measure.

“In future, we shall replace it with a six-inch pipe to better equip the landfill for future fires,” Tiong noted.
Meanwhile, a resident surnamed Ting recently voiced concern that the dumpsite fire may have serious repercussions on the environment.

“I can still see the smoke billowing this morning (yesterday) and the smell from the burnt tyres is just awful. I am very worried that if the fire is not put out speedily, it will cause massive harm to the environment and health of the people.

“We could be inhaling harmful substances contained in the fume,” he voiced his concern.
In response Tiong said representatives from the Department of Environment are in town to access the pollution level caused by the fire, which has become a grave concern.

Earlier, SMC deputy chairman Daniel Ngieng gave assurance they were doing the best they could to put out the fire.
Last Thursday, the Fire and Rescue Department rushed four fire engines to the site to douse the flames while the Civil

Defence Department and two water tank vehicles of SMC provided the backup.