Peat fires causing hazy conditions in Klang Valley
23 March 2005
published by The Star Online
PETALING JAYA: Hazy conditions due to the recurrence of peat fires have caused visibility and air quality to deteriorate in the Klang Valley.
Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan said unhealthy air quality levels were recorded in certain parts of the Klang Valley yesterday.
This is because there are a lot of peat fires, he said, adding that the areas included the Raja Muda Musa forest reserve, Klang and areas near the KL International Airport.
Other parts of the country, he added, showed moderate and good air quality levels.
He also said visibility had decreased because of moisture in the air.
It rained in certain parts of the Klang Valley. We hope the rain will do some good, he added.
He also advised the public to call the Department of Environment hotline at 03-8889 1972 to report any open burning.
A daily bulletin posted by the Meteorological Services Department on its website reported haze at 29 of its 34 stations as of 2pm.
Visibility at 7pm in Subang was 2km, Petaling Jaya (4km), Sepang (2.5km), Cameron Highlands (6km) and Muadzam Shah (7km).
Visibility in Butterworth was 0.6km at 5pm but improved to more than 10km by 7pm.
The maximum temperature for Kuala Lumpur and here yesterday was at 34°C and is predicted to be the same today.
DOE Air Division director Che Asmah Ibrahim said satellite images detected eight hotspots throughout the country and investigations into open burning activities in the Klang Valley were on-going.
She said the hotspots were in Johor (4), Kedah (1), Perak (1) and Pahang (2).
In Shah Alam, firemen were working round-the-clock to put out fires in Parit 13, Sungai Panjang in Sabak Bernam, the Raja Muda Musa forest reserve in Batang Berjuntai, the Timah Langat area on the way to KLIA and in Jalan Kebun.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant operations director Nor Hisham Mohd said that while the local fires might contribute to the severity of the hazy condition, they were not the primary reason.