Sarawak fire dept expects to put out forest fires by Monday

KUCHING, Aug 15 — The Fire and Rescue Department in Sarawak expects to put out the forest fires in the state before schools reopen on Monday, after the week-long break.

Its director Khirudin Drahman said he had directed his team to go “all out” until the end of this week so that the situation is fully under control.

“The Sarawak Fire Department has changed its 12-hour shifts to 24 hours to ensure we have enough personnel.

“It means that if we have 20 personnel on duty in one shift, once we’ve changed to the 24-hour shift, we will have extra people on duty — 35 personnel working in a day to cover the fires “ he told reporters.

He had earlier launched Sarawak’s Public Sector Conducive Ecosystem (EKSA) and the Innovative and Creative Convention at the State Library here today.

He also said that the Bombardier aircraft from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) had arrived in Miri today, to help with its fire fighting operations in affected areas.

“With the help of the Bombardier aircraft, we hope to put out the fires in Sarawak before school reopens on Monday.

“The number of forest fires in Miri have reduced because of the heavy rains in the area and in Sibu,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khirudin also warned those who were involved in sabotage activities in regard to the forest fires, not to do so again as severe action would be taken.

“They not only pollute the environment but their actions contribute to the haze and even hotter weather, affecting the lives of those in the surrounding areas.

“We hope the public will help provide information if they see any suspicious activity by reporting to the police, Fire Department or the Natural Resources and Environment Authority for immediate action,” he said. — Bernama

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