Bush fires are a serious threat during the current hot weather, says state fire department


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  • Saturday, 22 Jun 2013

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THE State Fire and Rescue Department is advising the public to refrain from carrying out open burning to avoid bush or forest fires from occurring during the current hot spell.

Department state operation deputy director Wan Azmi Wan Ahmad said in a week, there were at least three calls from the public complaining about bush fires.

He said open burning whether carried out in a big or small scale was a no-no especially during the hot spell.

Wan Azmi also urged those camping or having bonfire parties to ensure fire is put out properly before leaving the premises.

“Besides that, I also wish to advise people not to throw cigarette butts into bushes.

“Besides the natural cause for bush or forest fires, these are some of the other factors that contribute to such fires,” he told The Star recently.

According to the Meteorological Department, the adverse weather conditions would last until September due to the southwest monsoon winds.

Wan Azmi added unlike floods, there were no specific fire prone areas, but there were couple of instances where such fires had occurred in the forest area in Gerik.

“So far in the last two years there are no big incidents of such nature reported in the state.

“For the calls we received some- times about one to two acres of land is involved.

“In the last few days we have received calls from Grik, Tapah and around Ipoh on bush fires,” he added.

He said firefighters were 24-hours on standby to carry out their duties whether during the hot spell or otherwise.

Wan Azmi said upon receiving a call, the fire station would deploy its available men.

He said once they reach the fire site, they would assess if there was a need to ask for back up.

“In the case of a big forest fire, firefighters throughout the state will be deployed, and if the need arose, from other states as well.

“If fire engines are unable to enter the site of the fire, firefighters will walk towards the site, but if the situation posed a danger then a helicopter will be used as a last option,” he added.

However, he said if there were houses located near the site of the fire, efforts to save the houses, people and property would be the priority.

“He said it was really important for the public to call the fire station to inform them of any fire especially involving properties.

“Even if they managed to put out the fire on their own, they must alert us otherwise they will not be able to make any insurance claims without a proper fire report,” he added.

Wan Azmi said in the case of forest fire there was a set of special equipment used to put out the fire, unlike small bush fires.

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