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By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, March 19: Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin today proposed several strategies to keep bush fires in Miri at bay, now that the dry season had set in.
First, he suggested that the police, People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and other relevant enforcement agencies conduct frequent patrols around areas prone to bush fires and catch culprits involved in open burning.
Speaking to reporters covering his visit to the Permyjaya watchtower this morning, Lee explained that it was crucial to curb open burning activities as there had been a number of wildfires happening in the district in recent weeks.
“These fires were mainly caused by irresponsible people,” he said, adding that the Air Pollutant Index (API) remained at a moderate level (59) in the last 48 hours.
He cautioned that those found to have caused bush fires could be compounded RM2,000, while for plantation operators, the amount is RM500,000.
Secondly, Lee suggested that more tube wells in the district be activated to help suppress the possibility of bush fires. Miri has seven tube wells in Permyjaya, three in Tudan and one in Senadin. Each tube well can discharge roughly 90,000 litres of water per hour.
“I have also requested the Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia (JMG), together with Miri Resident Office and Department of Environment (DOE), to pump water from a man-made lake near Curtin Malaysia to wet the area to present bush fire from occurring,” he said.
In previous years, the university, which is located in Senadin, has been the subject of haze. Senadin, Permyjaya, Tudan, Kuala Baram, and Bakam are prone to bush fires.
Meanwhile, Miri fire chief Supt Law Poh Kiong said since last Saturday, Bomba Miri received more than 10 bush fire-related cases involving more than 100 acres.
Besides Law, accompanying Lee were Miri Resident Mastapa Julaihi, Miri DOE chief Julaiha Jumal and several JMG officials. — DayakDaily