Operation ‘B’ Fire and Rescue, Belait branch reported 30 cases of forest fires in the district this month. Authorities believe they were caused by irresponsible human activities such as throwing cigarette butts or matches out of the window as hot and dry weather scorches the nation. Outbreaks of fires were reported by the public at Sungai Liang, Labi, Kuala Belait and Seria highway areas.
Operation ‘B’ Fire and Rescue Public Relations Officer Awg Mohd Taha bin Bakar said a fire burnt through 10 hectares of forest in Kampong Tunggulian, one of the worst recorded forest fire in the district.
As a precautionary measure, the Fire and Rescue team in Belait is conducting 24-hour patrol at areas prone to forest fire and has appointed firewatchers.
Awg Mohd Taha added that it took over a week
for firefighters to douse the flames and smoke at the peat forest of Anduki Seria highway.
As billowing smoke from the forest fires reduce visibility, he warned motorists to drive slowly.
He further advised road users or the general public to immediately contact the fire emergency line at 995 if they spot a forest fire. Delaying it could result in blaze spreading rapidly.
Apart from warning the public not to discard cigarette butts irresponsibly, he also advised against conducting open burning.
An area prone to persistent forest fires is KM3 Lumut bypass, close to a shooting range. Although the fires were brought under control, firefighters are still trying to contain the smoke at the peat forest area.