Malaysia: Defence Ministry doing cloud seeding to deal with haze

The Star 17 Aug 18;

KLANG (Bernama): The Defence Ministry has mobilised its assets to carry out cloud seeding to help deal with the hot and hazy conditions in several parts of the country.

Its minister, Mohamad Sabu, said two Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) aircraft were sent out this morning to locate suitable clouds in the Selangor and Perak airspace, to precipitate rain.

"We need to find suitable clouds and locations to make cloud seeding a success," he told reporters after visiting the peat soil area at Johan Setia here today.

Also present was Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Azmi Osman.

According to Mohamad, the hazy condition in the country was not caused by forest fires here but had been blown over from Sumatra, Indonesia.

For the record, the Air Pollutant Index readings for Banting and Johan Setia at 4pm today (Aug 17) were unhealthy at 106 and 117 respectively.

Meanwhile, Azmi said the forest fires in the peat soil area were under control and currently only eight hectares (20 acres) of the area were still on fire as compared to 16 hectares (40 acres) yesterday.

Peat soil fires are notoriously hard to put out as they burn deep underground. They often occur in former peat swamps that have been drained dry to plant oil palm.

Mohamad said the dry and hot weather this time around had made firefighting a problem and as such he advised the public, especially oil palm estate and farm owners not to carry out open burning.

"This month the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department received 545 reports on open burning ,” he added. -- BERNAMA


554 acres burnt in 178 Sarawak wildfires
stephen then The Star 17 Aug 18;

MIRI: Some 554 acres (224ha) of forests throughout Sarawak have been burnt in 178 different wildfires since Aug 2.

The latest statistics from the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) showed that in the past 24 hours, firefighting teams statewide had been tackling 15 such wildfires.

The wildfires are in Miri, Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu, Mukah, Song and Bintulu districts.

According to the Bomba Sarawak operation centre, there was a huge wildfire raging in Sri Aman over an area of some 100 acres (one acre is about the size of one football field).


Haze hits Negri Sembilan; fishermen hope situation improves soon
Mohd Khidir Zakaria New Straits Times 17 Aug 18;

PORT DICKSON: Business is as usual for fishermen in the district despite the haze that has been enveloping the state since yesterday.

One of them, Taufik Abdul Ghani, 56, said he hoped that the situation would improve soon.

“The air pollutant index (API) recorded a moderate with visibility had yet to be affected. We can still carry out activities and daily chores as usual.

“It was worse two years ago when we couldn’t go even go to the sea due to the limited visibility,” he said when met here today.

As of 6pm today, the API readings at three locations, namely, Nilai (97), Port Dickson (73) and Seremban (90) recorded a moderate level.

An API reading of 0 to 50 indicates good air quality; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy and 300 and above, hazardous.

For the latest API readings nationwide, visit www.apims.doe.gov.my.

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