JOHOR BARU - Bush fires in this ongoing dry spell are still giving firemen cause for concern. An average of 500 cases are reported daily in the country.
Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said Johor, Perak and Selangor are having the highest numbers of bush fires - about 100 cases a day.
"The fires are mainly due to open burning and carelessly discarded cigarette butts," he said.
He hoped people would stop open burning during the dry spell and that smokers would refrain from tossing cigarette butts indiscriminately.
He was speaking at a ceremony to present certificates of excellence to 93 Johor Fire and Rescue Department employees and to 43 staff members who would be retiring this year.
"A problem when putting out bush fires is low water supply; even the water in nearby ditches is drying up," Mohd Nor said.
He suggested that local authorities clear illegal dump sites and any overgrown vacant land because these could contribute to bush fires.
He said the department would build 50 new fire and rescue stations nationwide within the next five years to improve its emergency response time