Station chief: Gunung Baling fire under control and being monitored

Fire and Rescue Department personnel fight to bring the forest fire on Gunung Baling under control February 7, 2019. — Bernama pic
Fire and Rescue Department personnel fight to bring the forest fire on Gunung Baling under control February 7, 2019. — Bernama pic

ALOR SETAR, Feb 8 — The raging fire on Gunung Baling was brought under control following a water bombing operation today, but the Fire and Rescue Department has intensified monitoring to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent Gunung Pulai

“We saw the fire moving in one long line there was the possibility it could spread to Gunung Pulai, which is close to Gunung Baling, but so far we have managed to prevent the fire from spreading,” said Baling Fire & Rescue Station chief Mohd Jamil Mat Daud.

“The water bombing method using an MI-17 helicopter helped to put out the fire. Between 8am and 11am 14 instances of water bombing had been carried out,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

However, he said the helicopter operation could only be carried out in the morning as strong winds in the afternoon posed a risk to the helicopter.

Mohd Jamil said the remaining spots of fire was extinguished by firefighters and personnel from various agencies in the afternoon using water bags.

“Today’s operations went smoothly and the weather was fine and a bit cloudy and if it rains heavily tonight, I think the small areas of fire which are still burning can be extinguished.

“But we will continue to monitor and place some members from other enforcement agencies round the clock in areas where there are residents as a precautionary measure. Tomorrow, the operation will start as early as 8am,” he said.

He said that as of this afternoon the area affected by the fire was about 2.9 hectares.

The cause of the fire which started on Wednesday evening has yet to be ascertained but the firefighters did not rule out the possibility of it having been triggered by some mountain climbers. — Bernama

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