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Last Update: 18 Aug 2019
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Prepare well for second wave of dry spell, Uggah tells agencies
Posted on : 22 Apr 2019  Source of News: The Borneopost Online

Uggah (fourth right) in a discussion with Law following the briefing, as (from second right) Khirudin, Ting, Lee, Yii (left) and others listen.

MIRI: The divisional Disaster Management Committee here has been called on to prepare for the second wave of the dry season which will last until September this year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, who chairs the State Disaster Management Committee, said it is crucial that all agencies at divisional level work together to overcome the issue of open burning involving bushfires and peats soil fires, especially in Kuala Baram.

“This is just April. The coming months – May, June, July, August and September – these are supposed to be dry seasons.

“After getting all the feedback from the agencies today, I will bring it to the State Disaster Management Committee meeting in Kuching to work out and map strategies for the next few months in order to control the fires here,” he said during a visit to Tudan Watchtower here yesterday.

He said among the new strategies that were being considered are using more drones to monitor areas that are prone to open burning, and building more tube wells in areas that do not have such facilities.

Personnel from the Department of Environment, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) and Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia were present to brief Uggah on the latest situation pertaining to the forest fire and peat soil fire in Miri.

Earlier, NREB Miri acting controller Justin Jok in his briefing told Uggah that the department had been using a drone for early detection of fire in Kuala Baram.

“In fact, the drone has become an important tool to detecting fires in Kuala Baram over the past month. “We detected one fire early using the drone, which appeared to be quite large. We contacted Bomba which immediately sent a team to put out the fire,” he said.

He added NREB currently has one drone which can fly for half an hour and cover a distance of up to 2.5km.

Meanwhile, Bomba Miri chief Law Poh Kiong stated the department has received about 15 calls daily on open burning activities since March this year.

He noted that these fires were mostly started by irresponsible individuals doing open burning to clear their land for crop planting.

The bushfires and peat soil fires began in February and have since destroyed over 100 hectares of land.

Among those present during Uggah’s visit yesterday were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, mayor Adam Yii, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, and Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman.