Forest fire cause of haze along highway

THE presence of haze along the Kesas Highway, which is affecting several residential estates in Shah Alam and Klang, is due to the forest fire along the highway.

State environment committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the forest fire, on a 4ha plot of land, had resulted in the haze in Kota Kemuning in Shah Alam, Bandar Puteri, Taman Sentosa and Bandar Botanic in Klang.

She said these areas were badly hit as the fire had aggravated the haze that was caused by forest fires in Indonesia.

“I can understand the problem faced by the residents in these areas as they have to put up with haze from two sources,” she told StarMetro.

Wong said her office had received numerous complaints on the haze situation and the health hazard it posed to the public.

However, Wong said, the forest fire along the Kesas Highway had been dealt with by the Rescue and Fire Services Department.

“The fire was put out during the weekend and I believe the situation has improved,” she said.

Besides that, she said, there had been a series of fires in the area, including factory fires, caused by the ongoing drought.

Asked if the the worsening haze condition was caused by open burning by smallholders in Johan Setia, Wong said the situation was under control.

“The authorities had been successful in curbing open burning activities in Johan Setia in recent months.

“The Klang Municipal Council has been monitoring the farming activity there very closely,” she said.

Wong said the council had taken enforcement action against the offenders and had prevented them from conducting open burning on the waste from their jungle clearing activities.

She said her office and Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Maria Mahmud had been working closely on the issue.

“We have been making frequent checks in the area to prevent people from aggravating the situation,” she said.

Besides Klang and Shah Alam, other parts of the state that are affected by the current haze situation include Kuala Selangor, Kajang and Sepang.

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