NREB and DOE to deploy drones in Miri to prevent open burning, peat fires

Lee (centre, holding a drone) with other guests after visiting the Tudan watchtower this morning (Feb 28, 2021). The authorities will be using drones to carry out surveillance work to prevent open burning in Kuala Baram, Tudan and Permyjaya.

By Brad Rantayy

MIRI, 28 Feb: The Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) and the Department of Environment (DOE) will deploy drones for surveillance in fire prone Kuala Baram, Tudan and Permyjaya to detect and prevent open burning activities during dry the season in this district.

Minister for Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin who is also the Minister-in-charge of Miri Division Disaster Management Committee (MDDMC) disclosed that both agencies have confirmed their participation to carry out daily surveillance to monitor for any potential fires.

“This year, these agencies will be utilising technology to carry out surveillance and monitoring works,” Lee revealed earlier this morning after visiting the watchtower at Tudan.

Lee, who is also the Senadin assemblyman said that recently he had received reports on minor open burning at Kuala Baram which caused some small fires last week.

“These fires were caused by some open burning of the land done by certain farmers for agriculture activities,” he elaborated.

As dry spells are expected in the coming months, it is a concern that such incidences of open burning will cause peat fire and haze, he added.

Hence, Lee wanted immediate preventive measures to be implemented to tackle these issues.

“I want these relevant agencies to start their immediate preparation to encounter the open burning issues at fire prone areas especially at Kuala Baram, Tudan and Permyjaya which encompass a large part of peat areas in Miri,” he said.

He also revealed that from today onwards, People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) personnel will be stationed at the Tudan watchtower to monitor for any suspicious open burning activity and peat fire.

Later this afternoon, Lee is scheduled to chair an MDDMC meeting to work out surveillance, preventive and enforcement strategies to prevent peat and bush fires in fire prone areas.

Among those present at the Tudan watchtower briefing this morning were Acting Resident of Miri, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Zone 6 Miri chief Supt Law Poh Kiong, NREB officers, and representatives from Miri City Council, Acting Miri District Officer and Rela. — DayakDaily