Sarawak bans open burning
The Star, 9 Aug 2008
KUCHING: Sarawak has banned open burning after dozens of hotspots were detected in the state.
State Assistant Minister for Environment Dr Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zain said there were 37 hotspots on Wednesday, down from 51 a day earlier.
He said there were 221 hotspots in neighbouring Kalimantan, Indonesia, and 400 hotspots in Sumatra on Wednesday.
“All parts of Sarawak recorded moderately healthy air quality. Samarahan recorded the highest air pollutant index of 57, followed by Bintulu, 56,” he added in a press statement yesterday.
Abang Rauf said the decision to stop open burning was because of the potential recurrence of haze as the fire weather index (FWI) had reached level 7. An FWI rating of 1 and below is considered a low fire hazard, 2 to 6 is moderate, 7 to 13 is high and above 13 extremely high.
He warned that anyone who defied the ban on open burning faced a fine of up to RM30,000 and three years’ jail on conviction under Natural Resources and Environment Board regulations.