KUALA LUMPUR: Is the dreaded haze back? That is the question most Malaysians are asking, following reports of less than clear skies in various parts of the country.
The Meteorological Department’s official Air Pollutant Index (API) readings for Malaysia up to 3pm yesterday, however, showed only one area of concern — Miri, Sarawak. Its API reading soared to 228, categorised as “very unhealthy” by the Environment Department.
The next highest readings, categorised in the “moderate” range, were in Mukah, Sarawak (85); Ku-ching, Sarawak, and Kuala Selangor (84); and Batu Muda, here (83).
However, it would appear that the source of the haze is not all from Kalimantan, Indonesia, as per the norm. The Environment Department raised concerns over a possible increase in peatland and forest fires nationwide due to the dry season.
Its director, Datuk Dr Ahmad Kamarulnajuib Che Ibrahim, said several fire-prone areas had been identified and were being closely monitored.
“Our concerns are peatlands in Johan Setia, Klang, the northern and southern part of the Kuala Langat Forest Reserve, and bushes and peat areas in Dengkil.”
Peat fires in Dengkil are understood to have affected nearby areas, such as Sepang and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which was temporarily hit by poor visibility issues yesterday.