BARIO, Sept 27: A forest fire is currently raging in Arul Telal area near SMK Bario, here.
Miri Fire and Rescue chief Law Poh Kiong confirmed the incident, saying they received the report from Bario volunteer firefighters at 5.33pm.
Apparently the incident occurred much earlier, at about 11.30am but it was only reported later today.
It was understood that the forest fire at Ulung Palang has spread to an estimated area of 20 hectares.
“Based on initial information gathered, we were told that there was no rain in Bario for the past two weeks and there are many paddy huts in the area where the fire is,” he said when contacted.
Pictures and text messages shared by the local Bario community showed volunteer firefighting team and villagers trying to reduce the spread by cutting grasses at the dividing pathway, while students from the school were seen dragging water hose in attempt to douse the flame near the perimeter fence.
Bomba’s air unit will be deployed to the scene tomorrow morning.
The Bario highlands is located on the Kelabit Highlands in Baram, lying at an altitude of 1,000m (3,280 ft) above sea level.
The only road connecting Bario to Miri is a logging road, which is only navigable using a four-wheel drive vehicle and the journey takes 12 to 15 hours, or longer if the road becomes muddy during the rainy season.
Another access to Bario is by flight, on a 16-seater turboprop aircraft by MASwings. — DayakDaily