Kuala Baram API reaching unhealthy level of 126

Firefighters battling bush and peat fire at Kuala Baram.

MIRI, Feb 26: The air quality recorded at Miri Industrial Training Institute (ILP Miri) has returned to unhealthy level with Air Pollutant Index (API) reading at 126 as at 11am.

Miri Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) chief Law Poh Kiong said the increase in API reading was due to wild fire on 700 acres of land peat at Kuala Baram and Senadin areas which continue to produce smoke over the past few days.

“The fires started at about 2.15pm on Feb 22 on an empty plot of land in Kuala Baram, and spread very quickly to Lot 3711 and Lot 3393 due to the dry weather and low water pressure in the area. Our firefighting team including volunteers managed to put it out and the wild fire now under control as at Feb 25,” Law said in a statement.

Peat fire at a watermelon farm near Go-Kart.

 

He added that 43 personnel including 25 firefighters and 18 volunteers from Naim were involved in the firefighting efforts.

Among the factors contributed to firefighting difficulties were strong wind of about 16km/h and both lots are very large peat land of about 2,000 hectares.

Law added that only 4-wheel drive vehicles can enter near the burning sites while at the same time, water level around its fire breaks was low due to dry weather.

“For today’s task, we will focus on a watermelon farm located behind Go-Kart near Permyjaya as that area are still producing active smoke. Personnel from Woodman Sdn Bhd also assisted in the operation by creating new fire breaks in the area with three units of excavators,” Law said.

An API reading of zero to 50 is good, 51 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 unhealthy, 201 to 300 very unhealthy and 301 and above is hazardous.— DayakDaily