Open burning poses safety and health threats


Firefighters are working hard to put out wildfires daily. — Filepic

MIRI: Open burning at night is a serious threat as it is causing choking smog in residential estates in many parts of Miri and Kuala Baram districts.

The smog comes from the wildfires that rage at night and pre-dawn hours in several hot spots.

The air pollution is affecting residents.

“People are complaining of breathing problems.

“Our firefighters from the Miri and Lopeng Fire and Rescue Departments are working non-stop to fight the fires.

“Some are burning close to housing estates and are health and safety threats,” said Miri Fire and Rescue Department chief Supt Law Poh Kiong.

He said it was suspected that some unscrupulous people were setting fire to clear land at night.

Affected residents are angry too.

“We cannot breathe properly at night,” said teacher Emily Susan from Desa Senadin.

“I do not have air conditioners installed in my house and at night when we leave our windows open, the smoke gets in.

“We can feel the heat from the fire just next to our housing estate,” she said.

On Monday, a raging wildfire 20km north of Miri city almost engulfed a row of houses there.

The fire burned right to the edge of the houses at the Desa Senadin 7 housing estate but firefighters managed to stop the flames from reaching the houses, said Supt Law.

Wildfires are affecting parts of Sarawak due to the current hot and dry season.

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