Malaysia — Firefighters are currently battling to put out peat fires at three sites spanning 180 hectares in Johor.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said that plots, which include oil palm plantations in Kota Tinggi, Pengerang and Kg. Lepau in Kota Tinggi were still smouldering.
Up until today, 100 hectares of peat fires have been put out and the remaining plots are still burning, he told reporters at a conference about the performance of the Fire and Rescue Department yesterday.
Kong said that 136 firefighters are battling to put out the fires.
Currently, 27.5 hectares of land in Kota Tinggi, 46.5 hectares in Pengerang and six hectares in Kg. Lepau were still burning.
He said firefighters from neighbouring states as well as the Fire and Rescue Departments air unit have also been mobilised to help ground efforts in putting out fires since Feb 4.
The fire is under control and I would like to advise the public to refrain from open burning due to the hot and dry weather now. The risk of fire is high, he said.
Kong also told reporters that from 2007 to 2009, a total of 143,231 emergency calls were received.
Out of the number, 71,179 were for fires while 75,052 were for other emergencies.
He said there were 244 deaths and 223 injuries from fires recorded in the past three years.