INDONESIA – MIRI: Efforts to extinguish the forests and peat fires in Kuala Baram that entered its 18th day yesterday focussed on reducing the smoke before the new school term starts today.
Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman is confident that the operation would effectively keep down the air pollutant index (API) at healthy level so that school sessions in the area near the fire are not affected.
“We will continue with the total knockout and aerial water bombing operations with our helicopters to ensure the sources of fire and patches of smoke are reduced. We will tackle it as immediately as possible, as what we have promised, for the haze problem to be handled accordingly before the school session starts,” Khirudin told reporters when met during the Bomba Run 2019 here yesterday.
Khirudin disclosed that the Bombardier CL-415 of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will also be assisting in tackling peat soil fires in Betong and Sri Aman.
“The Bombardier will be in Sri Aman and Betong today (yesterday) to help tackle peat soil fires through the water bombing method as our team is currently having difficulties in terms of accessibility to the burning areas there,” he added.
He called for the cooperation of all relevant parties including proper enforcement to enable open burning and haze issues to be addressed immediately.
Khirudin also hoped that fire fighting operations at all affected areas would go well, especially in terms of safety of the fire fighters due to the difficulties in accessing some of the affected areas.