Fires in Miri causing hazy conditions

MIRI, Aug 14 — Several fires which broke out in this northern city of Sarawak recently here have contributed to the hazy conditions here.

State Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who is in charge of the Miri Divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) today said the Fire and Rescue Department reported the fires which occurred in Tudan Phase 4, Tudan Phase 5, Kuala Baram and Taman Tunku areas.

Lee who chaired the committee meeting yesterday afternoon said he was also informed by the state’s Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) that the issuance of open burning permits has been stopped at the moment.

The board had also conducted joint patrols with the Department of Environment apart from conducting drone surveillance since June to prevent illegal open burning at fire-prone areas here.

“All agencies have been urged to enforce control and monitoring apart from setting up control posts at fire-prone areas,” he said.

He also urged landowners to ensure their properties are not encroached by people who will resort to open burning to plant vegetables.

“The Land and Survey Department will carry out enforcement on government land while the NREB will activate its patrol teams which will be assisted by the relevant agencies,” he said.

He added that the Agriculture Department will also ensure that farmers will not do open burning as the Meteorological Department had forecast the drought period will occur from this month till October.

In the past, drought and low rainfall have been the main causes for bush and peat soil fires.

“Let us all work together to ensure that the haze does not happen in Miri as it will affect our health,” he said. — Bernama


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