KUCHING: The state is experiencing a hot and dry spell rather than a haze.
As of 5pm yesterday, much of Sarawak recorded a moderately healthy air pollutant index (API) of 62.
The highest reading of 72 was registered in rural Miri while the lowest was in Kapit and Sri Aman at 55.
Sixteen hotspots were detected across the state as of June 18 with Mukah having the most with five, followed by Sarikei (three).
Controller of Natural Resources and Environment Board, Peter Sawal, said in terms of heat, Sibu and the Rajang basin showed a higher fire weather index (FWI) than the rest of the state.
“I won’t say it is the beginning of the haze season but rather the beginning of the dry season.
“The Meteorological Department reported that rainfall this month has been below normal,” said Sawal.
He said though Miri might be more vulnerable to wild fire, the air quality is generally favourable.
“With the dry weather, we foresee the possibility of localised burning because local farmers are taking advantage of it to prepare for farming.
“We do not foresee that what happens in Peninsular Malaysia (where a few cities are registering high API) will happen here. However, we never know.
“We are monitoring commercial burning and open burning permits will only be issued with great care,” said Sawal.