SIBU: Malaysia has been spared trans-boundary haze this time by three key factors: rain, wind, and rapid action by the Indonesian authorities.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Indonesia had been very active in putting out forest fires, and this helped contain the situation.
The power of the three factors combined was evident two days ago when over 200 hotspots were spotted in Kalimantan, Indonesia, on Friday but dwindled to 18 the following morning.
“There was rain all over Kalimantan, Sumatra, the Peninsular (Malaysia) and Sarawak. So, the fire outbreaks were contained by nature,” he said when contacted yesterday.
“Indonesia is also doing their best. They have formed a special fire brigade to specifically tackle forest fires,” he said, adding that the team was deployed to Kalimantan several days ago. The brigade is not operating alone: they are supported by the police and military.
On the wind, Wan Junaidi said it was not blowing directly from Kalimantan into the state because of Typhoon Meranti in southern Japan. The wind pattern is expected to change by the first week of next month, when it will be blowing from the south-west.
“Therefore, by the second week of October, there will be no more haze. If there are fire outbreaks in Indonesia, the resulting haze will not blow into Malaysia.”
On whether open burning in backyards could trigger local haze, he replied that the effect would be minor, if any. “But there was one time where a fire broke out in a private land in Baram. The size of the affected area caused haze in Miri and Baram.”