Haze clears before N-Day do

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/8/30/nation/18738569&sec=nation

Thursday August 30, 2007

Haze clears before N-Day do

MIRI: The thin veil of haze that enveloped northern Sarawak for the past three weeks has cleared following regular rainfall over the past few days.

This comes just in time for the state-level National Day celebrations, which will be held in this resort city tomorrow.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and state Cabinet leaders will be here to join 300,000 Miri folks in the event.

Since late last month, palm oil plantations in the southern parts of Miri Division, especially in the Batu Niah and Suai dis tricts, started open burning of agricultural waste and this caused a slight haze over the coastal areas.

Within the city limits, there were also sporadic cases of illegal farmers and squatters carrying out large-scale burning of vacant government land to plant crops like maize and tapioca.

The lush greenery of the Canada Hill now sports ugly brown patches of burned lalang.

Miri Fire Chief Mohd Shoki Hamzah said yesterday that there was no more major open burning in Miri district.

The rain and favourable wind condition has helped clear the atmosphere.

The bushfires and scattered burning by illegal farmers have also been doused, he said.