KENINGAU: Some 473 acres of land involving scrubs and weeds, farms and forests were destroyed in a fire in Sook several weeks ago.
Sook Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) Youth chief Ramian Ayub praised the spirit of cooperation among the people to extinguish and control the fire from spreading.
He said the District Fire and Rescue Service Department personnel were also present at the scene of fire but could not do anything due to insufficient manpower to cover all places.
“The Fire and Rescue Service Department found it difficult to get to the fire location as it had inadequate equipment and personnel, and the road was inaccessible,” he told The Borneo Post here yesterday.
In addition, he said the lack of water supply sources as most streams had dried up, had also caused problems and made it difficult to extinguish the fire.
Ramian, who also monitored the situation during the fire, said the cause of the fire was due to the hot weather and the negligence and irresponsible attitude of farmers who did open burning.
He said the fire in Sook was still ongoing.
“The types of crops destroyed mostly were rubber and oil palm, the farmers’ main source of income,” he said, adding no casualties happened during these fire incidents.
According to him, fire risks during the prolonged drought were very high, and had therefore asked the people, especially the rural farmers, to refrain from open burning activities at this time.
He said integrity was required as fire would cause many parties to suffer losses.
Ramian said areas on fire involving residential farms were Kampung Bukit Indah, Damai, Bosoi, Bukit Karabau, Ulu Monod, Kampung Simpang 4, Kabatang Baru and Sri Menanti.
“We hope the government can help the victims.
“The fire in Sook involved an extensive area that also made it difficult for the Fire and Rescue Service Department to provide immediate help.
“The people involved need to understand this situation, especially with the geographical area that is hilly,” he said.
Ramian hoped the public would continue to give support and cooperation to the Fire and Rescue Service Department in handling, controlling and saving properties.