Aerial water bombing to put out peat fire

KOTA KINABALU: Firemen are likely to use aerial water bombing to put out a major peat fire at the Klias peninsula which has caused haze in most parts of west coast Sabah.

Over a hundred firemen were now working round the clock to douse the underground fires affecting some 200 of the 12,000ha mangrove forest reserve in Bisuluk, Beaufort.

Fire and Rescue Operations deputy assistant director Khairul Azuwan said they were likely to use aerial water bombing at strategic areas in the forest reserve in efforts to put out the underground fires which started three days ago.

“If all goes well, we will carry it out tomorrow (today),” he said adding they had already managed to put out about 80% of the fire.

Khairul said firemen were responding to hundreds of calls on fires all over the state due to the El-Nino induced dry spell.

The air quality index for most parts of Sabah recorded moderate levels as of 11am Friday with visibility of about 3.5km.

The dry weather has also caused water shortages at 365 villages in the state.

The Sabah Education Department has urged all schools in the state to reduce outdoor activities.

The dry spell is expected to continue until June.