Sarawak firemen battle forest fires
Published on: Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kuala Lumpur: Firemen are toiling to put out the fires over 3,820 hectares of forest in Sarawak which have resulted in haze in the State.Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said out of the 6,528 hectares of affected forests, the fires over 2,708 hectares had been successfully put out.

He said in a statement Friday that among the techniques used to put out the forest fires were total flooding, trenching, sectorisation, fire breaks and direct attack.

He said the fires could have been caused by the slash-and-burn method used by palm oil plantation management and farmers to create fields for crop cultivation.

"When a fire has spread, it is difficult to control, especially when it has spread to the peat soil areas which are scattered about and far away from roads.

"The current dry spell with very little rain adds to the problem," he said.

Kong said the forest fires were in the Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu districts.- Bernama


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