Pulau Burung landfill fire almost completely extinguished, 2% to go

NIBONG TEBAL: The fire on more than 11ha of the Pulau Burung landfill, in Jalan Byram here, is almost extinguished.

Penang Environment and Welfare Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said that based on the progress of extinguishing the blaze, the Seberang Perai Selatan (SPS) District Disaster Management Committee found that 98% of the fire, which began on Jan 12, had been successfully extinguished as at Monday (Jan 31).

“After nearly three weeks of trying to put out the fire in the landfill area, we managed to put out nearly 98% of it, with only 2% still burning in Sector 5.

“Based on information from the SPS disaster committee, the blaze has been successfully brought under control. However, I was informed that operations are still continuing with water-pumping work, among others, in the area,” he said when contacted Monday.

He said work to put out the fire, which was previously carried out by the fire and rescue department and assisted by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Civil Defence Force (APM) and the Volunteer Fire Brigade, would be continued by the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) and the management company PLB Terang Sdn Bhd.

Phee, however, said a relief centre for residents evacuated from the area near the landfill fire and the Disaster Operations Control Centre would continue to operate.

He said 44 people from 10 families have been placed at the centre in SK Saujana Indah since Jan 16 and they would be allowed to return to their homes once the air quality in the area is safe.

“On Monday, the Air Pollutant Index reading at SJKT Ladang Byram station recorded a moderate level (79), which is better than Sunday (88),” he said.

The landfill fire incident in Jalan Byram was reported at about 5pm on Jan 12 and nearby residents were asked to evacuate to the centre, while 10 schools in the vicinity were ordered to close.

On Jan 22, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the re-investigation by the fire and rescue department on the landfill found that the area consisted of more than 33 hectares, with about 11 hectares on fire, and that firefighting work was being carried out using various methods. – Bernama