KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Open fires during the current hot and dry weather conditions have been identified as the cause of unhealthy air quality in some areas in the country said Minister of Environment and Water (KASA) Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
He said seven stations recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings as of 4 pm today, namely Johan Setia Klang at 188, Banting (167), Petaling Jaya (133), Klang (107), Shah Alam (104), Cheras, Kuala Lumpur (111) and Rompin, Pahang (133).
“The slight haze in the Klang Valley is due to the forest and peat fires in the Kuala Langat Selatan Forest Reserve involving an area of 34 hectares since Feb 24,” he said in a statement, adding that the open fires from five agricultural locations in Johan Setia, Klang detected on Feb 5, caused the unhealthy API reading in the area.
“The Department of Environment (DOE) has also detected bush fires in Rompin in a 10-hectare area today that increases the API reading,” he said.
He said the DOE had prepared six investigation papers, issued one compound, and served four notices to the perpetrators.
“Strict actions have been taken against landowners, landfill operators, and perpetrators who cause open burning that affects air quality,” he added.