PUTRAJAYA, Sept 18 — The Ministry of Water, Land, and Natural Resources said today that it has identified six forest fire hotspots in Peninsular Malaysia.
Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said the Forestry Departments of each state have identified the hotspots in Johor, Pahang, and Terengganu.
“From yesterday until today, satellite imaging scans by the departments have revealed three of the hotspots are located in Johor, two in Pahang, and one in Terengganu.
“We have advised the departments to conduct regular field patrols to identify potential hotspots and to prevent forest fire outbreaks, especially in permanent forest estate areas,” he told the press here.
In a statement, the ministry said the Forestry Department has deployed a Semut Merah (Fire Ant in Malay) team to extinguish and control the fires, and constructed 85 tube wells so far with the cooperation of the Mineral and Geoscience Department.
It has also launched a Disaster Operations Center during the drought season, and a campaign to spread awareness of forest fires.
This comes as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that Putrajaya may make satellite data mapping of the regional locations of fire outbreaks and other information about haze hotspots available on official channels.
After a Cabinet meeting on the haze situation, the prime minister acknowledged the annual recurrence of the haze to be a touchy subject with Indonesia, saying others had raised it but resulting in a finger-pointing game.
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