NREB enforced ban on open burning
MIRI, 21 June – A ban on open burning has been enforced by the National Resources and Environment Board (NREB) Sarawak, effective yesterday (June 20) in efforts to reduce the haze problem.
“Due to the escalating haze problem, the NREB has banned open burning and frozen all permits for open burning effective June 20,” said Assistant Minister of Communication, Datuk Lee Kim Shin this morning after being briefed on the haze situation in Miri by the Natural Disaster and Relief Committee Miri Division.
Lee added that the NREB and Department of Environment (DOE) will work with other relevant agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA), Malaysia People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to monitor the situation and take the necessary measures.
“The Air Pollutant Index (API) reading in Miri is 62 today compared to 71 yesterday. Though the air quality in Miri is moderate and under control, strong winds have been blowing haze from Sumatera causing the air quality to drop,” Lee said.
“As of today there are six hot spots identified in Miri but only one covers a large area. The bush which covers two hectares is in the proximity of Permyjaya New Township and is still burning,” he said.
According to Lee the other five hot spots are relatively small and are under control.
There have been a few incidences of bush fires but all of them have been put out completely.
Apart from that, three new hot spots have been indentified at Marina Bay as well as the coast near Kampung Masjid and Kuala Baram. Though still flaming, the bush fires in these areas are also under control.
Meanwhile seven tube wells which were built to combat bush fires will be activated today to enable BOMBA personnel to flood the areas which are burning.
Six of this tube wells are in Kuala Baram while one is in Permyjaya.
“RELA personnel have been stationed at observation towers to monitor the areas and they will be on the lookout for bush fires,” Lee said adding that they spot any fires they will immediately contact BOMBA for further action.
Also present at the briefing today were Miri Resident, Antonio Kahti Galis; Miri District Officer, Boniface Intang Apat and Deputy Miri Resident, Emang Oyo Imang.