Malaysia: Fire Dept Ready For Forest Fires During Current Drought

Fire Dept Ready For Forest Fires During Current Drought

21 March 2005

published by Haze Online

Bernama – KOTA KINABALU, (Bernama) — The Sabah Fire and Rescue Department is ready to face any eventualities, including forest fires, in the current drought season, the department’s Deputy Director-General (administration) Datuk Wan Mohamad Nor Ibrahim said Monday.

He said department had adequate expertise and equipment to fight forest fires.

“We will also take other measures like freezing fire-fighters’ leave and change their working hours from 12 to 24 hours if the situation worsens,” he told reporters after closing a fire science basic course at Sabah Fire and Rescue Department headquarters in Likas.

Wan Mohamad said the department would also closely monitor forest fires in the state via satellite.

“We face drought season every year in March and April. Sometimes, there will be forest fires which can cause haze and affect the people’s health,” he said.

He said forest fires are much more complex compared to normal fires at buildings or structures.

“Some people see it as an easy job to handle. In reality, there are many challenges to handle forest fires. For instance, it’s difficult to get water, no proper access road to get into forest fire sites and the large area engulfed by the fire,” he said.

Wan Mohamad urged the public to refrain from starting open burnings to avoid untoward incidents.

“If they start open burnings even though they are small, they can cause hazy conditions which make life uncomfortable for many,” he said.

He said the department had sent firemen to Australia, Canada and the United States to acquire the techniques of controlling and putting out forest fires.


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