Water bombing brings Gunung Baling fire under control


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 9 Feb 2019

Firefighters battling the blaze on Gunung Baling

Firefighters battling the blaze on Gunung Baling

ALOR SETAR (Bernama): The raging fire on Gunung Baling was brought under control following a water bombing operation on Friday (Feb 8), but the Fire and Rescue Department has intensified monitoring to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent Gunung Pulai.

“We saw the fire moving in one long line and there is a possibility it could spread to Gunung Pulai, which is close to Gunung Baling, but so far we have managed to prevent the fire from spreading,” said Baling Fire and Rescue Station chief Mohd Jamil Mat Daud.

“The water bombing using an MI-17 helicopter helped to put out the fire. Between 8am and 11am Friday, 14 instances of water bombing were carried out,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

However, he said the helicopter operation could only be carried out in the morning as strong winds in the afternoon posed a risk to the aircraft.

Mohd Jamil said the remaining areas on fire were extinguished by firefighters and personnel from various agencies in the afternoon using water bags.

"Operations went smoothly and the weather was fine and a bit cloudy. If it rains heavily tonight (Friday), I think the small areas of fire that are still burning can be extinguished.

"We will continue to monitor and place some members from other enforcement agencies round the clock in areas where there are residents as a precautionary measure. Tomorrow, the operation will start as early as 8 am,” he said.

He said that as of Friday afternoon, the area affected by the fire was about 2.9ha hectares.

The cause of the fire, which started on Wednesday (Feb 6) evening, has yet to be determined but firefighters did not rule out the possibility of it being triggered by mountain climbers or hikers. -Bernama

An MI-17 helicopter was used for the water bombing operation.