As the dry spell continues in Malaysia, peat and bushfires are breaking out at a fast rate of 305 on a daily basis across the country. Reports say that during the first 18 days of February 2014, 5,485 fires of this kind were reported, compared to 440 incidents in February 2013.

dry spell

Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim, the director general of Fire and Rescue Department said that there is a 1,100 percent increase in fire incidences in the country, mainly because of the drought. The director general also put the blame on people who carelessly threw their lighted cigarette butts. Ibrahim added, “In a normal situation, open burning can be controlled. But under dry conditions, a spark can cause a fire that spreads quickly”.

The official from the Fire and Rescue Department informed that his men are fighting major fires in Selangor, Terengganu, Pahang, Perlis, Perak and Kedah. About 212 men are involved in battling fire on 1,376.6 acres of land. While talking about the measures, Ibrahim went on to say that they are creating fire breakers in order to prevent the other fires from spreading further.

The official also informed that they are facing problems like low water pressure, as well as the absence of fire hydrants in the extinguishing operations. Ibrahim also said that many times, the firemen had to use water from ponds and rivers.

Photo Credits: Borneopost