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KUALA LANGAT, March 2 — The fire at Compartment 15 of the Kuala Langat Selatan Forest Reserve, here, which was first detected yesterday has now spread to more than 40 hectares due to the hot, dry and windy weather.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director Norazam Khamis said the state government had obtained assistance from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to carry out “water bombing” using a Bombardier CL-415 aircraft to speed up the firefighting work.
He said the use of water-bombing techniques was carried out at 2pm, and is believed to be able to speed up the extinguishing process by between two and three weeks from the expected time of four to six weeks previously.
“We have managed to extinguish an area of 6.07 hectares since yesterday, and efforts have been made to extinguish the source of the fire from which it continues to spread to other parts near the forest,” he told reporters during a visit to the area today.
He said a total of 180 personnel from various agencies were assigned to put out the fire. These included 120 firefighters, 30 people from the Forestry Department and seven people from the MMEA.
Meanwhile, in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department director Md Hilman Abd Rashid cautioned farmers and plantation owners against carrying out open burning in the current weather conditions.
He said 20 fire hotspots had been detected in the state at risk of being sites for major fires.
They include Ladang Tebung Haji Lembah Bidong, Setiu; Kampung Pengkalan Jering, Dungun; Kampung Meraga Beris, Kemaman and Kampung Batu 7 in Dungun, he told reporters here today. — Bernama