Sabah firefighters battled one bush fire every hour last month

Firefighters are faced with the challenge of controlling and putting out bush and forest fires occuring almost on an hourly basis in the state.

Sabah Fire and Rescue Department director Nordin Pauzi said according to their call records, the department received 759 calls on wildfire last month.

That amounted to at least 25 cases per day or one incident per hour, he said.

The figure did not include cases of buildings or properties that caught fire, he added.

“This is extremely worrying and wearing our men down as they have to be on standby every second to ensure that each call is attended to for the safety of the community,” said Nordin.

Of the incidents, he said the worst was on a 24ha land in Tuaran recently, where the fire control operation lasted for four days.

“Imagine what would happen if such cases continued and worsened, there might even be loss of lives,” he said.

Nordin said the spike in wildfires was a result of the dry spell in the state for more than a month now.

“We hope the weather improves soon. People must stop open burning or throwing cigarette butts everywhere,” he said.

Those who spot a bushfire could do their bit by putting out the flames before they spread, he advised.

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