: The haze in Sarawak especially in Sibu since last Saturday is caused by the open burning in the area, reported Utusan Sarawak.
Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) controller, Peter Sawal said it was difficult to control the open burning as it involved peat soil in addition to the low water pressure issue.
He added that all relevant agencies including the Fire and Rescue Department and local enforcement officers have been ordered to monitor and curb open burning activities.
“The haze in Sibu is caused by the open burning of bushes, grass. It may be caused by a small fire but failure to contain it causes a bigger fire,” said Peter.
Peter also believes that the fire is caused by the people’s carelessness while cleaning their homes or even in discarding cigarette butts on road sides.
He added that NREB has temporarily stopped from issuing open burning licences beginning last week following the dry spell in the area.
Apart from Sibu, Kuching, Samarahan and Sri Aman are also facing hazy conditions believed to have been caused by the open burning in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department director Nor Hisham Mohamad said that all the 22 departments around the country are on alert mode.
The air pollution index (API) in Sibu recorded an unhealthy reading of 204 on Monday and 136 on Tuesday.
As of 1pm on Wednesday the API reading in Sibu is recorded at 136.