Malaysia — Schools affected by the haze and smoke from forest fires in Terengganu will be closed if the situation worsens.
State Education, Higher Learning, Innovation and Special Duties Committee chairman Ghazali Daud said peat fires in Ladang Tabung Haji and Ladang Rakyat, Lembah Bidong here, had been going on since Jan 25, resulting in villages nearby being enveloped in thick smoke.
The schools affected are SM Batu Rakit in Mengabang Lekor, SM Lembah Bidong and SK Pagar Besi. Also affected is Institut Teknologi Petronas which is near Lembah Bidong.
Ghazali said he was waiting for a report from the state education department and district education office.
“I have instructed the department to monitor the situation in Lembah Bidong so that students are not exposed to health risks.”
He said if the situation worsened, the department would liaise with the Fire and Rescue Department and other related government agencies on the action to be taken.
“The students’ health and safety are important.”
Meanwhile, firemen managed to put out one of the seven forest fires in the state.
State Fire and Rescue Department Senior Assistant Commissioner Tuan Zawawi Mohd said the fire in Kampung Alur Ketitir, Marang, was put out at noon yesterday.
“The success was because the affected area was small at only 20ha compared with the six other fires.
“The locations of the other peat fires are in Kampung Tok Kah Dungun (411ha), Ladang Tabung Haji in Lembah Bidong (22.6ha), Ladang Rakyat in Lembah Bidong (204ha), Teluk Kalong (268ha), Kampung Pagar Besi in Batu Rakit (200ha) and Taman Bahagia Gong Kepas Dalam in Besut (10ha).”