Monday, May 4, 2015Monday, May 4, 2015

Number of hotspots in Malaysia shoots up under dry spell

Published on Feb 19, 2014 11:12 AM
A bushfire rages in Taman Bukit Melawati park in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) Open, peat and bushfires are breaking out at the rate of 305 a day across the country as the dry spell continues.

In the first 18 days of this month 5,485 such fires were reported, compared with 440 for the whole of February last year.

The 1,100 per cent increase is mainly due to the drought, said Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim, who also blamed those who carelessly threw their lighted cigarette butts on the ground.

"In a normal situation, open burning can be controlled. But under dry conditions, a spark can cause a fire that spreads quickly," he added.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!