KUANTAN: Days without rain have resulted in an increase of open fires in Pahang. The State Fire and Rescue Department said they received 680 reports up to yesterday.
This shows an increase of 262% compared with the same period last year, which had only 188 cases.
“Kuantan recorded the highest number at 321, while Pekan had 152 cases and Temerloh 131.
“To tackle this, the department has activated the haze operations room at Pahang headquarters since March 17,” it said in a statement.
It added that personnel at all nine fire stations in Kuantan, Pekan and Rompin had been temporarily put on 24-hour shifts.
The seven areas affected by fires were Pulau Serai in Peramu, Sungai Miang forest, Pekan Timur plantations and Jalan Pekan-Nenasi in Pekan, areas near the Nenasi-Rompin border as well as Bukit Palas and the Gebeng industrial area in Kuantan.
The fire at the Nenasi-Rompin border appeared to be quite serious with some 20ha of forest already burnt.
Pahang Fire and Rescue Department director Nor Hisham Mohammad said the air pollutant index readings in Rompin had a high of 279 at 3am yesterday.