Dept: Fire cases have doubled in the past week

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014

PETALING JAYA: The number of open burning, forest and peat fire cases around the country has more than doubled in just a week, from 416 to 999 yesterday.

A check on the Fire and Rescue Depart­ment’s website showed that the number ranged between 61 and 102 cases daily.

It was reported that more than 40ha of land was engulfed in flames last Friday near the KL International Airport as 10 firemen fought to bring the flames under control.

Cyberjaya Fire and Department head Izman Adnan said a major operation was being carried out to stop the peat fire at Km25 of the Elite Highway before its smoke affected motorists and air traffic.

Izman said it was the second time since February that the department had to put out a fire in the area.

Environment and Natural Resour­ces Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said peat land, especially in areas which caught fire often, was under constant monitoring under its standard operating procedure on the Prevention and Management of Fire in Peat Areas programme.

Under the programme, field checks would be carried out daily to monitor the water level at dams and to pump ground water to moisten the peat layers to prevent them from drying and catching fire easily.

The haze affecting several west coast areas in peninsular Malaysia was caused by burning activities in central Sumatra, said Palanivel.

“According to the Singapore-based Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre, moderate haze was detected from burning areas in the Riau region last Saturday,” he said.

Port Dickson and Seremban recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index readings as at 4pm yesterday while the air in Cheras was also unhealthy between 2pm and 3pm.

The Department of Environment urged the public to report open burning or forest fires to the Fire and Rescue Department at 999 or its hotline at 1-800-88-2727.

Related story:

Dry season triggers start of nationwide monitoring plan

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