Strong winds fan fire at Badas water pipelines

National 1 minute, 42 seconds

BELAIT

STRONG winds further fanned the fire at the Badas water pipelines which razed eight hectares of forests, according to an official from the Seria Fire Station yesterday.

Hazy conditions, which were first reported around the Lumut National Housing Scheme (RPN) over two weeks ago when the fire first broke, have also moved to Seria, affecting areas near the Sungai Bera Industrial site.

Visits by The Brunei Times to the scene of the forest fire also showed that the fire seemed to have moved from the deeper part of the Badas water pipelines to areas towards the main road.

The fire, however, is still under control, as more than 10 firefighters and two fire engines are deployed every day to monitor and deal with the situation, said Seria Fire Station’s Commanding Officer Md Sophian Hj Md Yusuff.

“All the more, the help we received from the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) also helped in our firefighting operations, not to mention that the area is well equipped by fire hydrants,” he said.

But he also noted the clustered pattern of the forest fire, which strongly indicate a human factor may be involved. No evidence was obtained to direct them to such conclusion, he added.

Firemen will continue monitoring and dealing with the situation as even though it is still far from residential areas, it needs to be contained to ensure it would never affect anyone living nearby.

The commanding officer also noted that hazy conditions might be at its thickest state, probably resulting in zero visibility on the road since the direction of the wind would usually head towards the sea in the morning.

“So I would advise them to drive carefully should they encounter such situation,” he said.

The commanding officer could not give estimate how long the situation will last.

“But so far, Alhamdulillah, the condition has gradually receded, and the smoke also seemed to get thinner — perhaps a good sign that the fire and the smoke will be gone,” the commanding officer said.

The Brunei Times