Firefighters still combating blaze at illegal landfill after five days

PEKAN NENAS: Firemen are still hard at work trying to put out the fire which broke out at an illegal landfill in Jalan Sawah here since Friday.

Pekan Nenas Fire and Rescue Department station chief Mahadir Mamat said the operation to put out the fire was still ongoing as of yesterday afternoon.

“About 60% of the site is still burning compared to 80% on Tuesday,” he said.

Johor Health, Environment, Education, and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the first report of the incident was received on Dec 1 at 3.20pm from a fireman attached with the Pekan Nenas station.

He said initial action taken was to completely extinguish the source of fire as the smoke was being blown to residential areas.

“There was shortage of water supply during the extinguishing operation.

“The Fire and Rescue Department briefed the operation team to focus on finding the source of the fire,” he said.

He added that the Department of Environment had installed several Beta Attenuation Monitor (E-Bam) units to monitor the air quality following the large scale fire.

He said the units, installed at Kampung Air Putih here, would operate according to the beta attenuation monitoring technique.

He explained by using this technique the machines employ an absorption of beta radiation of solid particles that were extracted from the air.

“This technique is a standard monitoring method by most air pollution regulatory agencies,” he said when contacted, adding that the fire had also caused Johor Baru to be clouded in haze.

He added that the incident had occurred within the Pontian District Council’s jurisdiction but Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) was handling the operation and the case.