Equipment, vehicle urgently needed to tackle Daro peat fire

Using very basic equipment to put out the fire.

 

Trying to locate underground fire with very minimal water source.

 

KUCHING: Daro voluntary fire and rescue unit (DVFRU) is appealing to the Sarawak government to quickly send equipment and suitable vehicle to help them fight peat fire in Kampung Kut, Pulau Bruit, not very far from Daro.

“This has been happening for four years in a row, but this year is exceptionally long as the fire is entering its sixth day today,” DVFRU chairman Satar Smawi told The Borneo Post in a telephone interview.

Satar said although the situation today seems to be improving, there is no guarantee it will not spread again as normally the fire will heightened by late afternoon.

“The location is only 17 kilometres from Daro Bazaar. Due to ferry service and no bridge, it will take us one hour to arrive, if we miss the ferry it will become one hour and 30 minutes,” Satar explained.

What worries Satar now is that the fire stopped at less than 1.5 kilometres from the nearest house and the fire can easily reach Kampung Kut settlement in under 30 minutes if the the wind is strong.

“We are using our own vehicle,  we would like to appeal to Sarawak government to provide us with proper vehicle and necessary equipment,” he added.

Satar said the Fire and Rescue Department in Tanjung Manis has been notified, but they are not getting any help yet.

“We are using borrowed pump to get water from the nearby drain and it get clogged easily to make it much more difficult for us,” Satar lamented.

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Satar said the villagers are monitoring the situation closely and will alert them if the fire spreads again.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister and Chairman of Sarawak disaster management and relief committee, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas told The Borneo Post he was not informed of the peat soil fire incident.

Having dealt with peat soil fire while serving as Malaysia’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Uggah said he will alert the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department immediately.

“Why are they not reporting this to Resident Office? Send me the information now, I will send to our group and they will act immediately,” he said.

Smoke still visible indicating there is still fire underground. 

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