Firefighters put out 80% of Sri Aman forest blaze

Air pollution in Sri Aman in Sarawak reached “hazardous” levels for several days last week. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Firefighters have put out a fire in some 80% of an 81-hectare plantation and forest area in Sri Aman, Sarawak, which has recorded “hazardous” levels of haze pollution.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the staff of the Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, and other agencies, had been working hard to put out the fire in the remaining 32-hectare area since Thursday.

Cloud seeding carried out in Sri Aman yesterday managed to reduce the air pollution in the area, which had been at a “hazardous” level of more than 400 on the air pollution index. It was brought down to “unhealthy” level of 125 at 10 pm today.

The Environment Department said firemen were also working hard to put out the fire affecting the forest area in Kampung STC Sri Aman, Jalan Tisak Betong and Jalan Ketaja, which is causing serious haze in the area.

19 areas still with unhealthy air

Air quality improved in many parts of the country but 19 areas showed “unhealthy” air pollution readings, with Batu Muda in Kuala Lumpur having the highest reading of 161 at 7pm. Other areas with high levels of air pollution were Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, (150), and Sri Aman (104); Kuching (156); Samarahan (136); and Sarikei (109), in Sarawak, and Temerloh (102) and Jerantut (112) in Pahang.

Hourly air pollution readings are available at http://apims.doe.gov.my/public_v2/home.html