State firefighters battle 17 wildfires in less than a day

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, March 18: Firefighters in the state had to battle with 17 wildfires between 8am and 10pm yesterday (March 17).

Some 67 acres (27 hectares) of bushes and paddy field throughout Sarawak were burnt in the past 24 hours.

The wildfires took place in Miri, Marudi, Limbang, Mukah, Bintulu and Sri Aman.

According to the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak operation centre, the largest fire involved a paddy field in Seduku Melayu, Lingga, Sri Aman covering an area of some 15 acres.

Firefighters battling wildfires on March 17, 2019.

The Miri fire station recorded five cases at Kampung Lusut Bidayuh, PPR Sg Rait, Dragon Seafood, Simpang Beraya Lama and Kampung Luak.

The Lopeng fire station recorded three cases at Pujut 1A, Sungai 7 Kuala Baram and South Lake.

Over in Marudi, wildfires were reported at Marudi Chinese cemetery, SMK Telang Usan, Kampung Pemindahan and Jalan Industri Kecil Marudi while over in Mukah, wildfires were reported at Press Metal Jalan Balingian and Jalan Sungai Sekuyu in Kampung Nanga Daro.

Limbang, Bintulu and Sri Aman reported one case each, at Kebun Perumahan Ranau Limbang, Kampung Wawasan Jepak Kuala Tatau and Seduku Melayu Lingga respectively.

Volunteer firefighters battling wildfires on March 17, 2019.

When contacted, Miri fire chief Supt Law Poh Kiong said, “Many of these wildfires are deliberate, caused by irresponsible farmers intending to clear their land.”

He advise people to stop open burning because of the dry and hot weather setting in. — DayakDaily