Landfill blaze ends after 13 days

The operation to extinguish a burning 10-hectre waste disposal landfill in Kampung Air Putih, Pekan Nenas in Pontian was successful and ended at 5pm December 13, 2017. — Picture courtesy of Pontian District Disaster Management Committee
The operation to extinguish a burning 10-hectre waste disposal landfill in Kampung Air Putih, Pekan Nenas in Pontian was successful and ended at 5pm December 13, 2017. — Picture courtesy of Pontian District Disaster Management Committee

PONTIAN, Dec 13 — The operation to extinguish a large-scale fire at a 10-hectare waste disposal landfill in Kampung Air Putih, Pekan Nenas here has ended, 13 days after it first broke out.

A total of 46 officers and personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force and also SWM Environment Sdn Bhd (SWM), were involved in today’s operation that ended at 5pm.

It was learnt that the landfill, owned by the Pontian district council and under state waste disposal concessionaire SWM, had caught fire on December 1 from an illegal waste landfill located next to it.

Initially the authorities had a difficult time extinguishing the fire as it had spread to different parts of the landfill over the days and there were problems in getting enough water to douse the area.

However, the recent heavy downpour in south Johor had assisted in containing the fire.

Johor Health, Environment, Education, and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said today was the 13th day of the joint operations that saw the situation brought under control.

“Today saw the teams successfully extinguish the remainder 0.8 hectare of land that was still burning.

“However, we will still continue to monitor the landfill for any recurrence of fire,” he said in a statement today.

At its peak on December 1, about 80 per cent of the landfill was burning, posing a health hazard to nearby residents.

However, over the days the authorities managed to contain the fire on large parts of the landfill.

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