PETALING JAYA: The Fire and Rescue Department continued to have its hands full dealing with widespread incidents of peat and bushland fires nationwide.
Its director general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said his department responded to a total of 6,463 fires, of which 5,256 were peat, bush and open fires for the past 12 days.
“On average, we have been responding to 500 calls every day this month for peat, bush and open fires.
“Just between 8am Tuesday and 8am yesterday, we responded to 643 calls regarding these fires,” he told The Star yesterday.
On states with the highest number of fires during that timeframe, Johor came out tops with 110, followed by Kedah (81), Perak (79), Selangor (74), Negri Sembilan (68), Malacca (57), Penang (50), Pahang (33), Sarawak (33) and Terengganu (18).
“We are still battling fires in Terengganu, Selangor, Pahang, and Perak.
“In these areas, we combated fires over a total of 2,931ha (7,244 acres) and have put out fires covering about 1,213ha (2,998 acres) of that figure,” he said, adding that his men were working themselves to the limit to fight these fires.
He said these fires were also contributing to the unhealthy air quality that several states were subjected to at the moment.
Wan Mohd Nor added that water shortage was also affecting operations to fight fires.
“If the weather pattern holds steady, we can expect more fires to start,” he said, urging people to refrain from burning rubbish, throwing cigarette butts indiscriminately as well as using fire for land clearing.