Seria Bypass opens as Belait fires die down

National 1 minute, 42 seconds

BELAIT

THE Seria Bypass has been reopened as outbreaks of forest fires in Belait are slowly decreasing.

The Belait District Disaster Management Centre (DDMC) in a statement issued yesterday said that it aim to end the fires before school reopens next week, with several affected areas already extinguished and many others in the process of being quelled.

“The Seria Bypass is now open 'at all times' but roads will be closed again whenever the situation warrants it,” read the statement.

Fires at Km 82 along the Seria Bypass, near Lumut National Housing Scheme have been completely put out, as well as fires at Km 25 on the Lumut Bypass, which is in the vicinity of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces’s Lumut Camp.

DDMC is now focusing on battling fires along Km 104-Km 101 stretch of the Seria Bypass, near the Panaga National Housing Scheme.

Dams have been already placed to flood strategic points along Km 104-Km 101, successfully protecting BSP assets which were at risk.

The recent outbreak at the Badas pipeline is also being highly prioritised, but with readily available water supply from water canals, the Sg Liang Station Fire and Rescue Commander Muhamad Ali Hassan is confident the fires can be brought under control within a few days, he said in an interview last Saturday.

DDMC is now looking into longer term mitigation strategies to battle fires, including having “permanent water catchment irrigation”, as ample water supply was previously reported as a major challenge being faced by firefighters. Makeshift dams, able to hold over 11,000 litres, have been widely used.

The constructions of more dams, fire hydrants, and fire breakers will also be included under the medium to long term mitigation plan.

206 personnel under DDMC, including those from Fire and Rescue Department, Public Works Department, Brunei Shell Petroleum Fire Station, Ministry of Health and the Royal Brunei Police Force have been involved in fighting the fires.

The Belait Religious Department has been continuously conducting Tolak Bala prayers in Belait since March 23 in all mosques, suraus and _balai ibadat _after Maghrib.

The Brunei Times