MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Penang Hill on fire

The dry spell and heat has set parts of Penang Hill ablaze while 30,000 nearby residents complain of bad air quality due to forest fires.
unnamedGEORGE TOWN: The ongoing dry spell and heat wave reached its peak today with famous tourist landmark, Penang Hill catching fire, believed to have started in the forests of the 833m hill.
State Fire and Rescue Department director Azmi Tamat when contacted by FMT said that while the fire is under control by a team of about 50 firemen from the Perak Road and Bagan Jermal fire stations, the situation is being closely monitored.
“We’re now monitoring the situation from the air (in helicopters) and are looking into ways to prevent the forest fires from spreading as the heat is worsening and it is quite windy.
“The team of firemen went up the hill at about 8pm last night to look for the source of the fire but faced difficulties as there are no proper routes up to put out the fires so we resorted to using backpack sprayers.
“For now we’re doing everything we can to control the situation from getting worse,” he said adding that he had been notified of forest fires in the state at five different locations from about 6pm yesterday.
He said the state fire and rescue department had been inundated with calls from the public since noon yesterday with reports of forest fires.
The fire is believed to have affected more than 30,000 nearby residents in Kampung Melayu, Air Itam, Air Putih and Jalan Padang Tembak.
“ We are still investigating the source of the fire,” he said.
Smoke could be seen billowing from the hills as far as seven kilometers away from George Town and some ten kilometres away from the Penang Bridge.
Residents in the affected areas are complaining about the air quality and urged the relevant authorities to look into the matter as soon as possible.
Coffee shop owner Ng Ah Seng, 50, said his business had been quite badly affected as many preferred to stay indoors.
A check with the police showed that no fatalities or injuries had been reported as a result of the forest fires.
On February 10, a similar incident was experienced albeit on a smaller scale when a forest fire ravaged part of Bukit Paya Terubong.

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