PENANG: Malaysia is on high alert for peat and bush fires in view of the prolonged dry period until next month.
“We are in the process of acquiring big pumps to help fight bush and peat fires in Selangor and Pahang,” Fire and Rescue Department assistant director-general (operation) Zulkarnain Mohd Kassim said.
“We will purchase 10 big pumps for the two states and also for use by the headquarters. By using the big pumps, we can source water from rivers and lakes located 2km from the site.”
He said peat and undergrowth fires usually occur in agriculture land.“Unlike in other countries, spontaneous combustion rarely occur in forests in Malaysia during the dry season,” he said, adding that the department was on high alert for any eventuality.
“Trees here do not easily catch fire in the natural environment. The fires are mostly caused by man.”
A Meteorological Department spokesman said the hot weather would persist until next month.
“However, in the northern region, we can expect rainfall of between 80mm to 100mm until next month,'' he added.
He said Penang would see rainfall increasing by 180mm to 290mm in April.
“In the central and southern parts of the peninsula, we expect the weather to be dry from now until next month. Thunderstorms can be expected from April to June,” he added.
“In the east coast states of Terengganu, Kelantan and north Pahang, rainfall of between 60mm and 90mm is expected from now till next month.”