Malaysia — Sibu Municipal Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said the landfill at Seng Ling Road might continue to burn for a fortnight as the fire has reached the peat soil underneath where wastes have accumulated for years.
Speaking to reporters yesterday morning, he said firemen, Sibu Municipal Council and Sibu Water Board were working round the clock to keep the smoldering dump under control.
He said the water board is using a two-inch pipe from the main road to help fight the fire.
A fire-break trench measuring nearly six feet deep has been dug to prevent the fire from spreading, and with the water piped to the landfill, we hope it will help put out the underground fire soon.
He said they had been bringing in water by tank loads, but by tonight (Sunday), they expect the pipe to be fixed.
He said the two-inch pipe was just a temporary measure.
In future, we shall replace it with a six-inch pipe to equip the landfill with a hydrant.
Tiong said representatives from the Department of Environment are in town now to access the pollution level caused by the smoke, which has become a grave concern.
This morning when I work up, I noticed the poorer air quality. I hope the situation will improve in the next few days with our concerted efforts, he added.
He said fire had broken out twice in Seng Ling landfill at Oya Road, with the previous one in 2005. Tiong said they would now consider banning the dumping of tyres and other inflammable wastes in the landfill to prevent another serious fire outbreak.
Meanwhile, Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, who was also present at the press conference, said the state government had already worked out a solution for used tyres.
A company has been appointed to collect them for recycle in the governments bid to conserve the environment. He said there were a few fire outbreaks of such nature in the state, and the government is concerned. He said the State Cabinet had approved the appointment of the company.