Firefighters battle raging flames in Kedah waste dump

A fireman standing close to the fire at the Semeling landfill in Bedong, Kedah, at 8pm last night. (Bomba pic)

SUNGAI PETANI: Firefighters have been battling more than 18 hours, trying to extinguish fires at a landfill in Bedong since 3.30pm yesterday.

Strong winds, dry weather and low water pressure have made their task more difficult as they fight to put out fires at the mountain of rubbish at the Semeling Landfill, Bedong, since 3.30pm Monday (Jan 20).

As at 9am today, there were still peat fires and heavy smoke in the area.

The area is among parts of Kedah which are currently experiencing a dry spell.

At midnight, the 50 firemen, including volunteer brigades, were still trying to douse the fires.

Sungai Petani fire chief Ismail Mohd Zain said at least three acres out of the 10-acre site have been burnt down.

He said most of the waste was plastic, making their task more difficult.

Heavy smoke billowing from the rubbish earlier yesterday. (Bomba pic)

“Although the fire is under control, once we stop the water, it will break out again, as it has burned deep into the piles of waste,” he told FMT.

Ismail said fire engines were forced to source water from several kilometres away as there were no fire hydrants nearby.

Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the volunteer fire brigades from Butterworth were heading to the Semeling landfill, some 40km away.

“We are trying to source out for foam-type fire retardants to put out the blaze. We are also looking for additional cranes to support the operation. We need all the help we can get.”