KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): State governments, local authorities and landowners are advised to take appropriate measures to prevent forest fire.
Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry (KATS), in a statement, said they should also take steps to prevent irresponsible quarters from trespassing into their property, such as landfills, forest areas, plantations, farms, as well as agriculture and industrial areas to carry out open burning.
“Due to the dry weather condition that is expected in the peninsula, all quarters are also advised not to carry out open burning or to allow their land or premises to be encroached upon resulting in open burning accidentally or for a certain reason," it said.
It said the ministry, through the Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department, is always aware of forest fires, especially if they occurred in the Permanent Forest Reserve area.
Several preventive and control measures against forest fire in the peninsula have been taken, including with the collaboration of the Malaysian Space Agency (MySA) and the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET Malaysia) to obtain updates on hot spot and fire risk areas.
The Forestry Department is also working with the Department of Minerals and Geoscience to build tube wells and 'check dams' in areas with risks of catching forest fire.
To date, 85 tubes have been built in the peninsula, it said, adding that monitoring towers were also built in areas with potential to catch forest fire and fire-fighting equipment ready for use in forest fire fighting operations.
According to KATS, the forest fire in Australia should make all quarters to realise the need to take appropriate action in improving environmental protection and addressing the growing threats to the ecosystem due to climate change.
Among the impact of forest fires on the environment are destruction to natural habitat, haze phenomena, health problems and loss of the forest biological diversity, it said.