Friday, December 3, 2021

Miri gears up for bushfire season

Secara Rawak

MIRI: The Miri Division Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) is gearing up for bushfire season to prevent the annual haze problem.

This is in view of the persistent dry and hot weather in this division.

“With the large size of the peat soil in the northern part of the city which covers Kuala Baram, Tudan and Permyjaya, we must look into this areas from bushfires, because if this area burns, it will affect the whole Miri and creating a sensational haze,” said the minister in-charge of Miri DDMC Datuk Lee Kim Shin yesterday after conducting a brief visit to Tudan Watch Tower.

The area covers about 8,000 hectares of peat soil, he noted.

Lee who is Minister of Transport added, all relevant authorities including Zone 6 Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Department of Irrigation and Drainage Sarawak (DID), Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), the Department of Environment (DoE) , People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and the police will be mobilised to monitor and mitigate the bushfires.

“We must prepare ahead to contain bushfires from recurring,” he said.

He revealed, at the moment, Miri NREB is using drones to monitor open burning hotspots within the area to tackle the annual haze problem.

He also instructed the relevant authorities to clear and build more fire breaks within the areas.

“Tube wells within the areas will be activated with immediate effect,” he said.

Lee also sought public cooperation not to do open burning during this period, as Miri is entering dry season.

He said, open burning culprits will face heavy penalties if they get caught with the activities by the authorities.

“For this division, DoE has opened three investigation papers in connection with open burning activities and offenders could face a heavy penalties up to RM500,000 or five years imprisonment or both, upon conviction under the Environmental Quality Act 1974,” he said.

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