Smoke alert on Seria Bypass

National 1 minute, 47 seconds

BELAIT

ROAD users were told to be extra careful while driving on the Seria Bypass as thick smoke blanketing parts of the road has reduced visibility down to several metres.

Strong winds have spread the ongoing forest fires beyond KM18 to KM19 areas along the Seria Bypass causing thick smoke to funnel along the edges bringing visibility down almost to zero.

In a move to enhance road traffic safety and prevent accidents around affected areas Fire and Rescue Commanding Officer of Belait Disrict Branch B Hj Muhd Shareeni Hj Mohd Yussof advised motorists to switch on their headlights and slow down when driving through the smoke to ensure safe passage.

Seria’s Acting Station Commander of Fire and Rescue Muhd Ali Hassan pointed out that switching on headlamps around the affected areas improves visibility for both motorists and personnel on the ground.

The Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) also advised motorists to drive carefully along the affected areas and to be alert at all times when visibility on the road is compromised.

Muhd Ali yesterday said due to the spreading of the fire, the base camp for fire operations was moved to KM18, and the operations at the Badas pipeline were halted, following the latest spark located exactly at the roadside, which may affect others.

A total of 25 firefighters were deployed yesterday, 15 from Seria Fire Station and 10 from Sungai Liang Fire Station, said Muhd Ali, with some personnel from Sungai Liang Recreational Park (SPARK) assisting in their fire extinguishing efforts.

Operations include to flood the affected areas with water to prevent future sparks and to sweep the smoke from further covering the roadside. Muhd Ali estimated that around 100 hectares of land has now been affected by the fire.

He added that firefighters will be making rounds every three hours to monitor the situation.

Legal action will be taken against those who indulge in open burning, said Muhd Ali as he pointed out that “Members of the fire and rescue department are authorised to apprehend and detain those believed to be responsible for the act and pass them on to the police for further action.”

The Brunei Times