90% of Kuala Baram fires brought under control: MMEA

19 Aug 2019 / 22:19 H.

MIRI: About 90% of peat fires in Kuala Baram have been brought under control, according to Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak director First Admiral (Maritime) Robert Teh Geok Chuan.

He said only 10% of the area was still emitting smoke that needed to be put out by tomorrow, which is also the last day of the firefighting operation.

“Thus far the situation is under control, tomorrow MMEA will be conducting two more flights to control the remaining area where smoke was still being emitted.

“The next monitoring operation will be fully handed over to the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM),” he said when contacted by Bernama after a press conference at the Miri JPBM Air base, here today.

Teh said in today’s operation, MMEA deployed its Bombardier CL415 aircraft and used up 300,000 litres of water for aerial water-bombing at the affected areas.

He said for the first sorties from 9.30am to 12.30pm, 156,000 litres of water had been used for the area in the third sector, while the second sorties from 2.30pm to 4.50pm, the operations used up 144,000 litres.

“Thus far, situation at both sector one and sector two which are monitored by the JBPM and Naim Group of Companies firefighting team respectively, have been brought under control,” he said.

Meanwhile, Miri Fire and Rescue Department chief Supt Law Poh Kiong said the air quality in Miri has improved.

“Tomorrow, JBPM will continue the cleanup efforts so that there will be no more smoke emitted. Once the fires are being put out, JBPM will monitor the situation in the areas using drones from time to time,” he said.

As off 4pm, the Air Pollution Index (API) at the Industrial Training Institute (ILP) Miri, Kuala Baram and SK Baram posted moderate level readings between 72 and 96.

A reading of zero to 50 shows that the air quality is healthy; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy and over 300, hazardous. — Bernama

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