Fire Dept: 24 open burning cases reported daily in Johor

JOHOR BARU: An average of 24 open burning cases are being reported daily in Johor since the beginning of this year.

Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis (pic) said 1,443 open burning cases had been reported throughout the state in the first two months.

“These included almost 300 forest and field fires that were either sparked because of the heatwave or deliberately lit by people living in the area.

“Fires that took the department days to put out often involved cases that happened in peatland because when peat soil burns, it can burn deep underground,” he said in an interview yesterday.

“Rubbish burning constitutes the second highest open burning cases we have received. The highest is burning bushes.

“This is a similar trend as the previous two years,” he said.

Yahaya also noted that there had been an almost 50% increase in the number of cases in 2018 compared to 2017.

“Some 2,610 cases were reported in 2018 and the year before, there were 1,400 cases.

“However, in terms of land area, a larger area was lost in 2017 (58,979.47ha) compared to last year (46,677.86ha),” he said, adding that more than 800ha of land were plagued by open burnings this year.

Yahaya urged the public to refrain from any open burning activities, especially with the current heatwave.

“It is very easy for the flames to spread beyond control during the dry season and it is better to completely stop any fire-related activities,” he said.

He added that the district with the highest number of open burning cases reported so far was in Johor Baru, followed by Kluang and Muar.

Source : TheStar