Air quality in Kuala Baram, Miri improves

MIRI: The air quality in Kuala Baram and Miri has improved tremendously since the
government carried out aerial water bombing to douse
forest fires in Kuala Baram since Thursday.

Yesterday, the Bombardier C415 aircraft used in the mission, carried out water bombing in Sector 2 and 3
after successfully reducing hotspots within Sector One (nearby the Hamidah Welfare complex).

“Tomorow, the aircraft will continue its mission in an area nearby the Eastwood Industrial estate,” said Miri Fire and Rescue department chief Supt Law Poh Kiong at a press conference yesterday.

Law assured that the peat soil fires in Sector 1 , 2 and 3
respectively which have been doused and contained would not ignite or spread to other areas.

“Our Bomba ground teams have gone into those areas, dousing the remaining small hotspots,” he explained.

He said following the aerial water bombings, the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings in Kuala Baram and Miri had reduced from the hazardous and unhealthy levels three days ago to moderate (below 100).

“All our sensors namely at ILP Miri, SK Kuala Baram 2 and Miri have shown positive reductions in API which are below 100,” said Law.

Meanwhile, Maritime commander Sallehuddin Zakaria revealed that in yesterday’s operation (second day), the Bombardier C415  made a total 33 drops with 198,000 litres of
water over an area of 3.1km square.

He said the two-day operation had resulted in improved air quality improvement for this division.

“If the situation continues to improve, we may have to stand down the operation,” he said.

According to Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), from August 1 until yesterday (Aug 16) , a total of 1,238 hectares of land in Kuala Baram was razed by the peat soil fires.