Tuesday, May 18

Bomba on guard against seasonal fires, says Miri chief

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Bomba personnel putting out the bushfire in South Lake Permyjaya.

MIRI: Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) personnel here are ready to face any situation resulting from the seasonal drought and haze, says Bomba Miri chief Law Poh Kiong.

He said with the current hot weather, they have begun monitoring hotspots through satellite images from the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia).

“From these hotspots, we will monitor and find the locations to ensure they are controlled hotspots.

“Controlled means the result of open burning by farmers while uncontrolled means the fire has spread beyond the control of the population.

“The Department of Environment, Natural Resources and Environment Board and MetMalaysia always monitor the weather conditions and open burning,” he said when contacted yesterday.

To a question, he said in the event of a forest fire, Bomba Miri currently has sufficient logistics needs.

“During the dry season, the whole state needs to be vigilant because it can happen anywhere, especially if the burning area is too wide and the wind causes the fire to spread too fast.”

To farmers engaging in open burning, Law advised them to carry it out on a small area in a controlled manner and to not allow the fire to burn on its own.

“The dry season is indeed suitable to start cultivating especially rice, and farmers will start to open new farms and conduct open burning.

“If it is necessary to do open burning, it must be controlled so that it does not spread especially to other areas.

“Apart from that, make a planned open burning in one village. Do not burn the area once, burn it in spots according to the day,” he said.

Meanwhile, about three acres of bush area in South Lake Permyjaya here caught fire yesterday morning.

Law said a team from Lopeng Fire Station was deployed to the location after receiving an emergency call at 11.47am.

“The fire was brought under control at 1.13pm and the operation ended at 1.48pm,” he added.