Public apathy blamed for new fire hotspots in Miri

File photo for illustration purposes

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MIRI, Sept 3: Despite the terrible haze which blanketed the city last month, irresponsible individuals are still conducting open burning.

Last month, API readings hit a high of 415, due to blatant open burning and slash-and-burn agricultural activities.

Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) has been pleading to all to halt open burning activities as well as giving numerous public warnings and advice, but it seems it all has fallen on deaf ears as today, the department discovered several new hotspots and voluminous columns of smoke.

Miri Bomba chief Law Poh Kiong said they spotted columns of smoke in several locations during their patrols.

“Columns of smoke can be seen at Miri Industrial Training Institute (ILP), Taman Tunku, Eastwood Golf Course, GoKart and Islamic Complex areas. Irresponsible residents and farmers were conducting open burning to widen their gardens and plantations.

“There is also a forest fire near Tukau. Since there is no road access to Tukau, firefighters with volunteers from corporate companies had to use heavy machinery to enter to make fire breaks, to stop the fire from spreading,” Law said in a statement.

New fire hotspots were detected in Miri today (Sept 3, 2019).

The ban on open burning in Sarawak is still in force as the hot weather is expected to persist until middle of October.

API readings are categorised as ‘good’ from 0 to 50, ‘moderate’ (51 to 100), ‘unhealthy’ (101 to 200), ‘very unhealthy’ (201 to 300), and ‘hazardous’ (301 and above). — DayakDaily