KOTA TINGGI: Open burning cases that occurred within the last few weeks damaged more than 859ha of land throughout Johor.
State Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Ab Ghani Daud said that between Jan 1 and Feb 8, the department recorded 1,226 cases of open burning here.
He pointed out that bushfires recorded the highest number of cases at 583, followed closely by forests fires (298), estates (192) and garbage (153).
“The department is very worried with the high number of cases within the period as throughout the previous year, there were only 1,856 open burning cases,” said Ab Ghani after opening the department’s yearly assembly held at Penawar Fire and Rescue station here yesterday.
Ab Ghani also said that Johor Baru had the highest number of open burning cases with 392, followed by Batu Pahat (164) and Kluang (143) during the period.
He reminded the public not to carry out open burning as the damage could be severe, not only in terms of property but lives as well.
“The department noticed that most of these open burning cases occurred due to human error, where people leave behind a fire unattended.
“Such action is quite costly as a small fire could escalate into a major fire within minutes given the current dry season with strong winds,” he said, urging the public to immediately contact the department at 999 if they noticed any open burning.
In an unrelated matter, Ab Ghani also urged the public to buy fire prevention devices for their homes.
He added that a smoke detector only cost about RM70 per piece while a small fire extinguisher is about RM100.
“These devices have proven to be very useful to put out or warn people of fire,” he said.