Forest fires were also reported in Bintulu, Kuching and Sarikei, believed to be due to the hot and dry weather affecting the state. (NSTP/Fire and Rescue Department)

MIRI: A total of 176 forest fire cases were reported throughout Sarawak in the span of 21 days, affecting a total coverage area of 109 hectares.

Apart from Miri, forest fires were also reported in Bintulu, Kuching and Sarikei, believed to be due to the hot and dry weather affecting the state.

A spokesman for the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Operations Centre said this marked an increase in the number of forest fire cases since early last month.

Last month, a total of 19 bush fires were reported.

“The extreme weather means that fires can easily spread and are hard to contain.

“As such, we are appealing to the people to refrain from conducting any form of open burning,” said the department in a statement.

The fires, which has so far centred around Sarawak’s northern region, has also led to reports of thick haze due to the smoke.

176 forest fire cases were reported throughout Sarawak in the span of 21 days. (NSTP/Fire and Rescue Department)