Minister in-charge of MDMC who is also Transport Minister, Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin told a press conference yesterday that the relevant agencies had been instructed to be on standby, including a helicopter if there is need for water bombing.
“Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) has also been put on high alert; and that their helicopter is ready in case they have to carry out water bombing.
“The Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) and the Department of Environment (DOE) have also been tasked to do regular patrol in hot spot areas, namely Kuala Baram, Senadin and Permyjaya,” he said.
Lee said the NREB here had also been asked to fly their drones to monitor any burning activities in those areas.
NREB had also written letters to all private landowners here, especially in Kuala Baram, which is prone to bush and forest fires.
“Private landowners are also asked to make fire breaks to prevent fire from spreading to other areas, and to check the tube well and dams on their land,” said Lee.
Lee said the MDMC had also liaised with the Northern Sarawak Water Board (Laku) to ensure there is enough water for Mirians and people in the surrounding areas throughout the dry spell.
Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) has also been asked to get ready their water tankers to send water to longhouses.
“Longhouses that need water from JBALB can make their request through the nearest district office,” said Lee.
On another note, Lee said on April 18, NREB had issued four compounds, three warning letters and 21 verbal warnings to people for open burning.
He called on Mirians to cooperate with MDMC to ensure there is no open burning here which could lead to haze problems.
“Miri even made it to the national news in the past for its peat fire caused by open burning and very serious haze. That is why we have to take measures to stop these from recurring,” said Lee.
Members of the public wanting to report on any open burning activities can contact NREB at 085-427486.
Acting Resident Juan Ubit was also present at the press conference.