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By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, Aug 15: The firefighting teams trying to douse peat fires in Kuala Baram will not be doing so from the ground alone beginning today. They will have assistance from the air in the form of ‘Super Scooper’ Bombardier C415.
The aircraft, belonging to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), arrived at the Miri Bomba Air Unit Helicopter Base at 11.50am today for the mission from Subang.
Today, the main focus area would be ‘Sector One’ and ‘Sector Two’ in Kuala Baram, spanning a total of 100 acres. Sector One is located near the Hamidah Welfare Complex.
The northern area has been enveloped by thick smoke following peat soil fires that have been raging for the past 15 days.
Following this, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), with the cooperation of MMEA, decided to bring in the C415, which is widely used in the world for such a purpose, especially in Italy and Canada.
According to Commander Maritime Salehuddin Zakaria, for the first day of the mission, they would carry out one sortie.
“The nearest river for the crew to scoop water for the purpose is Sungai Baram, which located at about 9km from the Sector One,” he explained.
The aircraft, which will be piloted by Lt Commander Maritime Muhammad Saad, can carry up to 6,000 litres of waters and dispersed it from a height of about 100 feet.
Meanwhile, Miri Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) chief Supt Law Poh Kiong, in his briefing session earlier this morning, said the Bomba ground teams would also be deployed to douse peat fires within Sector Two.
“We can’t penetrate Sector One as the bushes are tall and very thick. Therefore, we need the asset from MMEA … using the Bombardier C415 to help us douse the area,” he said.
Also present at the briefing were Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin and acting Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Yusoff. — DayakDaily