Refrain open burning, urged Tourism Minister

Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew has advised the general public to be health-conscious and refrain from open burning activities as they may contribute to the prevailing haze in some parts of the state.

She urged people to exercise caution to prevent the current incidence of bushfires from escalating.

“I was informed that some bushfires could have been caused by the indiscriminate disposal of cigarette butts along roadsides in some areas.

“Do pay heed to the warnings issued by the relevant authorities. Look at the broader picture and stop burning in the interest of public health,” Liew said in a statement on Thursday.

Data from the State Fire and Rescue Department indicated that cumulative figures from January 1 until March 13, 2024, showed 961 cases of fire outbreaks in six zones covering 25 districts and specific areas throughout Sabah.

“These cases involved bushfires, estate/farm fires, forest fires, and peat fires,” she said.

Tuaran in Zone 1 recorded the highest number of cases (271), followed by Kota Belud (136) in Zone 3 and the rest in Zone 1 Kota Kinabalu (90), Lintas (75), and Penampang (60).

Prominent housing developer Datuk Susan Wong reported that it is hazy in Benoni in Papar. As of March 13, 50 cases of bushfires, forest fires, and estate/farm fires have been recorded in the district (Zone 2).

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