Tuesday August 11, 2009
Sabah and Labuan firemen helping out
MIRI: Firefighters from Sabah and Labuan have arrived here to help the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department deal with forest and peat fires that are burning up more than a thousand hectares of land near the Sarawak-Brunei border.
Some 50 firefighters arrived yesterday and dozens more are expected to arrive soon.
About 170 firefighters from the Miri Fire and Rescue Department, the Civil Defence, the Miri Port Authority and volunteer firefighters are already on the ground battling the fires.
The reinforcements will provide much needed help in dealing with the fires, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.
We are now having to deal with underground fires.
At the Kuala Baram district, some 35km north of the city centre, the entire area was enveloped in smoke.
Brunei firefighters are also monitoring the fires on their side of the border.
Meanwhile, the air quality in certain areas of Malaysia recorded unhealthy levels yesterday.
As of 5pm, Sibu in Sarawak recorded an API reading of 187. The state has the most unhealthy air quality.
Other areas in the state, Samarahan (148), Miri (140), Sarikei (133), Kuching (105) , and Sri Aman (108) also recorded unhealthy air quality.
Muar in Johor recorded unhealthy air quality at 11am yesterday, but the situation improved slightly at 5pm when it recorded an API of 94.
Penang registered the best air quality at 23.
A check at the Meteorological Department website also showed that nearly the whole of Sabah and Sarawak had being been classified as extreme for its Fire Danger Rating system.
The classification indicates the relative ease of ignition and flammability of fine fuels.