MIRI: Sarawak will be linking up with a Chinese satellite, Fung Yin II, to detect open burning at night in a move to counter the problem, said state Natural Resources and Environment Board acting controller Chong Ted Tsiung.
Currently, Sarawak is using the services of American and Japanese satellites which can capture images of open burning over an area of one square kilometre or more but the satellites can only detect fires during the day.
The Fung Yin II can detect and capture images of open burning, measuring less than a square kilometre.
Chong said the Chinese Government had allowed the board to access the satellite.
“The centre would have to upgrade its software to receive images and readings from Fung Yin II when it comes across any hot spots or smaller fires in this region.
“With the upgrading of our facilities and the link-up with Fung Yin II, the board will be able to monitor even small bush fires at night.
“This is a tremendous boost to our efforts to stop fires before they get too big,” he said in an interview here yesterday.
“With such comprehensive satellite coverage, we will be able to plan our fire-fighting strategies more effectively and mobilise manpower to the areas that urgently need attention.
“If we can counter the fires before they get too big, it will go a long way in reducing the haze,” he added.
The board, Chong said, would still use the American and Japanese satellites, adding that having transmissions from three satellites would provide it with reliable round-the-clock information.