KUCHING, Sept 22 -- The operation to fight forest and peatland fires in Sri Aman which entered its seventh day today, was boosted through the successful 'water bombing' exercise by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency's (MMEA) Bombardier CL-415 aircraft.
The plane had been deployed on Sept 18 and 21 to carry out similar operations, but the attempts failed due to technical difficulties with the aircraft, as well as lack of water resources.
In today's operation, the aircraft which began operations at 8.15 am, conducted 10 sorties over four hours, spraying a total of 60,000 litres of water to bring the fire under control.
The fire fighting operation spanning 133 acres of forest land also saw the fire department using their MI-171 helicopters to douse the fire, with an active force of 30 firemen, aided by personnel from other agencies such as the Malaysian Armed Forces and MMEA.
Meanwhile, the Air Pollution Index (API) reading in Sri Aman rose slightly from 183 at 8 am to 204 as of 1 pm.
The API reading between 0 and 50 is categorised as good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and 300 or above (hazardous).