Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department ready to put out fires in Kalimantan

17 Sep 2015 / 15:49 H.

SIBU: The Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department is ready to assist in putting out peat fires in Pontianak, Kalimantan, Indonesia if it is instructed to do so.

Its assistant director (Operations), Farhan Sufyan Borhan said the crew, which was very experienced in putting out extensive peat fires, and the equipment could be deployed there.

He said that usually, about 100 crew members as well as portable pumps, water tanks and vehicles with a capacity of 22,000 litres of water would be sent to help put out fires.

"Based on our experience in putting out peat fires in Indonesia in previous years, our stay there would be about a month, but this depends on the weather," he told Bernama today.

In 2006, the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department sent a team to Riau, Sumatra and in 1993 to Kalimantan.
The current haze in Pontianak is at a very dangerous state with the Air Pollutant Index reading exceeding 1,000.

The readings in Kuching and Samarahan had also reached very unhealthy levels at 203 and 204 respectively as at 1pm today, causing schools to be closed.

Farhan said the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department currently had new equipment obtained last year worth RM14.6 million to tackle peat forest fires.
The equipment had been distributed to fire and rescue stations in the state, he added.

He said the equipment comprised 10 main vehicles, 20 units of forest fire-fighting equipment and five portable pumps.

Farhan also advised the public against open burning which could worsen the situation. – Bernama

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