KUCHING, Sept 24 — Already in its ninth day, the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department is still hard at work with the operations to put out fire in the peat areas in Sri Aman.

Its assistant director of operations Tiong Ling Hii said as of 3pm, the fire-fighting operations in the Kejatau-Lingga area are still being conducted with the help of a Bombardier CL-415 aircraft belonging to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to put out the fire in Sector B.

“In the operations, five water droppings were conducted using a total of 30,000 litres of water, while the fire-fighting efforts on land used seven excavators, two Prime Mover machines, and two FRT Scania machines,” he said in a statement here today.

He added that at present only one hectare of land was still on fire while the fire in Kampung STC was put out at 10.25pm yesterday.

The fire department was also carrying out fire-fighting operations in bush land in three other areas, namely Jalan Tisak, Betong; Jalan Beting Maro, Pusa; and the Gunung Api area in Mulu.

“In Betong, 29 hectares of land have been affected while there are still four hectares which are still covered in smoke, but the situation is under control, with fire-breaks set up using two excavators to prevent the fire from spreading.

“In Jalan Beting Maro, Pusa, 12 hectares of land have been affected by fire, involving a private-owned factory. While in Mulu, the hilly area is still burning with the fire reaching 100 metres high and the fire-fighting efforts are conducted by M1-171 aircraft,” he said.

To date, starting from September 1, the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department has received 449 reports of open burning which jeopardised 502.6 hectares of land.

Meanwhile, the Air Pollutant Index (API) in 12 areas as of 4pm today recorded a reading of moderate in Bintulu (59), ILP Miri (64), Kapit (57), Kuching (71), Limbang (56), Miri (63), Mukah (63), Samalaju (59), Samarahan (66), Sarikei (74), Sibu (69) and Sri Aman (81).

An API reading of between 0 and 50 is categorised as good, 51-100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and above 300 (hazardous). — Bernama