Malaysia — The hot weather and low water pressure are hampering efforts now into the 10th day to extinguish a peat soil fire on 45 hectares of jungle near the Dungun industrial area.
Fire & Rescue Operations Officer Kamal Md Tan said the canal, from which water was sourced, was located two kilometres away and the pressure was low.
“This is augmented by the hot and dry weather, which caused the fire to spread faster, especially since peat soil is involved.
“The fire has also felled many trees, forcing firemen to cut down trees in the affected area to put out the fire in the roots.
“However, we have deployed 20 firemen who are skilled in putting out forest fires, as well as 100 more firemen from the Dungun, Paka, Al Muklhtafi Billah Syah (AMBS), Chukai and Kerteh Fire and Rescue stations,” he said when contacted by Bernama here Tuesday.
The fire reportedly started on May 2 and could not be extinguished even two days later, resulting in a meeting among relevant agencies with the Dungun Disaster Management Committee chaired by district officer Mustofa Abd Rahman.
Subsequently, the fire, believed to have been set off intentionally, was declared a Level One disaster and round-the-clock measures were taken to fight the blaze beginning May 5.
“We have brought under control the first fire, affecting 35 hectares, but on Sunday we received word that another fire has broken out about one kilometre away, this time involving 10 hectares,” he said.