7,218 emergency calls have been received by Fire Stations in the four districts last year. According to the Fire and Rescue Department, among the emergency calls reported were on grass and forest fires. A total of 1,668.67 hectares of grass and forest area were jeopardised by fires last year, an increasing of almost 80 percent from 2018 which recorded a total of 929.83 hectares.
The statistics breakdown showed emergency calls for forest fires last year were 983 compared to 463 in 2018. Last year, 672 calls reporting on grass fires were recorded compared to 482 calls in the previous year. Areas affected by the two types of fires have also increased. Last year, fires affected 1,420.5 hectares of forest and 248.17 hectares of grass area compared to 2018, with an area of 644.2 hectares of forest and 275.63 hectares of grass.
Last year, the department received 545 emergency calls for fallen trees; 33 calls for landslides; 21 for reports on blown away roofs; 21 calls for lost persons and 6 calls for search and rescue of drowned victims. For 2018, 587 calls were recorded for fallen trees, landslides - 82 calls; blown away roofs 57 calls; lost person search and rescue 16 calls and 2 calls for drowned victims search and rescue. Meanwhile, 6 fatalities were recorded for drowned victims and one fatality for a lost person was recorded last year compared to only two deaths for drowned victims in 2018.
The Fire and Rescue Department in this regard, reminds the public to always be attentive to weather conditions and safety aspects while carrying out recreation in the hills. The public is also reminded to be cautious when carrying out activities at the beach or on the water. During continuous and heavy rain, it is vital to pay attention to the risk of floods or flash floods especially in low-lying and flood prone areas. Risks of landslides will also increase especially during continuous heavy rain of more than 2 hours. There is a risk of floods worsening during heavy intensity rain which occurs during high tides. Rough sea conditions and strong winds are dangerous especially for small boats and all sea sports and recreation activities.
Source: Radio Television Brunei