KUANTAN, The operation to put out the peatland fire in the Inderapura Department of Agriculture area, which caught fire due to hot and dry weather on March 28, is still ongoing. Taman Tas Fire and Rescue station (BBP) chief, Mohd Hilmi Kashfi Mat Zali, said that, as of today, the estimated area affected is about 300 hectares, starting from the agricultural department before spreading to the peat forest near the Inderapura Jaya residential area. 'Efforts to control and extinguish fires are carried out daily. It is estimated that the fire which affected 200 hectares of the agricultural area has been extinguished. 'The fire caused thick smoke, causing discomfort to Inderapura Jaya residents. We are faced with the challenge of putting out the fire of hot and dry weather, coupled with strong winds; the peat forest soil causes the fire to spread quickly, but we will try to put it out,' he said when contacted today. He said that personnel involved also faced the threat of crocodiles because the area was identif ied as the animal's habitat when they found five crocodiles during the firefighting operation. Mohd Hilmi Kashfi said that the extinguishing operation involved 20 personnel from the Taman Tas BBP, Kuantan BPP and Peramu BPP, also 12 staff from the Pahang Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), as well as 20 members and two officers from the Malaysian Army (TDM). 'Today's operation was also assisted by DID, when two pump units were used to suck water from Sungai Soi to be channelled to the affected peat forest area,' he said. Source: BERNAMA News Agency