PETALING JAYA: A total of 1,586 open burning cases have been reported this year up to March 10, says Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
"A total of 29 cases involved large-scale fires of permanent reserve forests, undergrowth, and peat soil forests including landfills, which were successfully extinguished," the Environment and Water Minister said after chairing the National Haze and Dry Weather Committee meeting on Thursday (March 18).
He added that the Department of Environment has opened investigation papers to take 26 open burning cases to court.
Apart from this, he said the department had also issued 52 field citations, 37 compounds, 62 directive notices and 168 letters for open burning cases.
On a separate matter, Tuan Ibrahim said the country will not face extreme hot weather later this year.
"The hot and dry spell will fully ease by April and this is a normal phenomenon which happens between February and April each year.
"No extraordinary hot weather is forecast this year," he said.
He said the hottest temperature so far was recorded in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, on Feb 26 with the mercury hitting 36.8 degrees C.
Tuan Ibrahim said the Meteorological Department noted that the country is now in the transition phase of the monsoon season, which will continue until mid-May.
During this phase, he said, thunderstorms, heavy showers and strong winds are forecast, particularly during the evenings and at dusk.