Firefighters battle Gunung Korbu forest blaze second day running

The fire that was spotted at about 8am yesterday raging in about 10 per cent of the Gunung Korbu Forest Reserve has now spread across 30 per cent of the area. — Picture via Twitter/Bernamadotcom
The fire that was spotted at about 8am yesterday raging in about 10 per cent of the Gunung Korbu Forest Reserve has now spread across 30 per cent of the area. — Picture via Twitter/Bernamadotcom

IPOH, March 6 — Firefighters continue to battle on the second day running a mountain fire that is said to be spreading at a height of about 500 metres in the Gunung Korbu Forest Reserve in Sungai Siput north of here.

The fire that was spotted at about 8am yesterday raging in about 10 per cent of the forest reserve has now spread across 30 per cent of the area, according to Perak Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations Mohd Yunus Abu.

The 30 firefighters are using the water bombing technique to put out the blaze, now located in an area between the Pos Legap and Pos Mu settlements of the Orang Asli, said the commander of the operation.

They are using an MI-17 helicopter and dropping water from 1,500-litre-capacity buckets, he said, adding that the fire was spreading easily due to the hot weather, strong winds and the bamboo plants that ignite quickly.

“Nevertheless, the fire is confined to the bamboo and shrubs and has not spread to the huge trees in the forest reserve,” he said.

Mohd Yunus said a fire & rescue control post has been set up at the Forestry Training Centre in Jalan Lintang, Sungai Siput, and a forward control post would be established in Kampung Santeh, also in Sungai Siput.

“A Multi Skill Team (MUST), in collaboration with the Sungai Siput Forestry Office, has set up a Heliwell, a portable water tank, in Kampung Santeh to draw water for the water-bombing operation,” he said.

The firefighters are from the fire & rescue stations in Sungai Siput, Kuala Kangsar and Ipoh, as well as a MUST unit and the Special Tactical Operation and Rescue Team of Malaysia (STORM) and they are assisted by over 20 personnel from the police and Forestry Department. — Bernama

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