More open fire incidents expected in Kedah during El-Nino dry spell

ALOR STAR: The Fire and Rescue Department is gearing up to face a jump in open fire cases in Kedah during the ongoing dry spell brought by the El-Nino phenomenon.

State director Awang Hidzel Awang Bujang said the number of fire incidents in Kedah during the dry spell recorded an upward trend last year and is expected to continue this year due to warmer temperatures.

"Between Jan 1 and Feb 14, 81 per cent or 606 out 745 emergency cases that we received were on fire cases.

"The Kota Setar district recorded the highest number of cases with 183 emergency calls, followed by Kuala Muda with 169 calls, Kubang Pasu with 90 calls and Langkawi 85 calls.

"The trend showed that districts with high population density recorded more fire cases," he told reporters after attending the state Fire and Rescue Department 2024 annual gathering here today.

During the gathering, Hidzel presented ranks to 30 firefighters and certificates of appreciation to volunteer fire brigades and media practitioners in Kedah.

Hidzel added that Kedah recorded a higher number of open fire cases last year with 1,087 cases as compared to 689 cases in 2022.

"Just between Jan 1 and Feb 14 this year we have already recorded 606 cases. Thus we expect more open fire incidents due to the warmer temperatures," he said.

He said bush fires topped the list of open fire cases last year with 867 cases, followed by dumpsite fires with 132 cases; wood fires (55 cases) and estates and orchards (33 cases).

Hidzel also advised the public to avoid practices that may cause open fire such as littering.

"Recently we had a case caused by discarded cigarette butt. We wish to advice smokers to properly discard cigarette butts as it may cause fires during this dry spell," he said.

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