Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The number of bush and forest fires in Malaysia has reduced drastically. The government has made serious efforts to combat the problem. "In the last two months, the fire department has responded to an average of 37 cases per day. This is nearly 80 per cent reduction in the number of cases detected between January and April," says Yusof Muhammad, assistant-director general, fire and rescue department.

In the first three months of this year, the department responded to about 180 bush and forest fires daily. In the last two months, the fire department attended to 2,197 cases nationwide. The department of environment has provided special powers to the fire department so that it could respond quickly to situations. The government has proposed imposition of maximum penalties on those involved in open burning, he said.

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