Peat fires damage 100 acres in Kuala Baram so far

Uggah (foreground, centre) conducting a site visit in Kuala Baram.

By Tedong Rantayy

MIRI, March 28: Peat fires in Kuala Baram have so far damaged an estimated 100 acres of land, says Deputy Sarawak Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Uggah, who is also the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, disclosed that the peat fires came about due to the dry and hot weather conditions in Miri’s morthern area.

He said, the lack of rainfall and high temperatures have created the perfect environment for fires to ignite.

“I was informed that the peat fire situation that began on March 23 has resulted in the destruction of approximately 100 acres of peat land areas in Kuala Baram,” he told the local media today at the Miri Resident’s Office after attending a briefing on the latest peat fire situation here.

Later, Uggah conducted a site visit to Kuala Baram to inspect areas affected by peat fires.

He was accompanied by Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) Datuk Gerawat Gala.

Uggah said he was pleased to receive the update that most of the peat fires had been successfully extinguished.

He noted the recent fire that occurred has not resulted in any haze formation up to this point and the situation is being closely monitored to ensure that any potential risks are mitigated promptly.

“The fire that happened until today has not create haze, our air quality in Miri is still around 70 Air Pollutant Index (API), which is considered as ‘ok’ and we want to be maintain it that way; that is why we urge the public to refrain from engaging in open burning activities, and if they encounter any of these activities, to report immediately to the authorities,” Uggah said.

Meanwhile, due to the prolonged dry weather in Miri, he reminded residents to remain vigilant and conserve water as much as possible.

Uggah said authorities are closely monitoring the situation and implementing measures to address any potential water shortages.

“I was informed that a total of 113 villages in Miri are currently facing water shortage issues and efforts are being made to address this, with authorities such as the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) and LAKU Management Sdn Bhd working to provide alternative water sources and solutions to alleviate the situation,” he disclosed. — DayakDaily