In 2021, the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) recorded 216 calls for forest fires which destroyed 198.3 hectares in total. Meanwhile, 245 calls were recorded on bush fires which destroyed 106.21 hectares of land area.
According to a FRD statement, 143 calls were from the Brunei-Muara District involving forest and bush fires, destroying 64.05 hectares, 113 in the Tutong District destroying 86.15 hectares, 201 in the Belait District destroying 152.81 hectares and four in the Temburong District destroying 1.5 hectares.
The FRD advised the public to be cautious of forest and bush fires as the Sultanate enters the second half of the Northeast monsoon period from February until the end of March.
The department shared that during the period, the country will experience a decrease in rainfall with high temperatures expected to reach 33 to 35 degrees Celsius throughout the day. The FRD also stated that the country can expect a slight haze due to potential forest and bush fires during the season.
The FRD stated that firefighters face challenges in combatting forest fires, especially peat forest fires which take a longer time to extinguish as they require heavy equipment and logistics.
In preparation for the second half of the Northeast monsoon period, the FRD also issued safety advisories for the public – avoid open burning; safely extinguish small bush or forest fires; and do not start any fires but if needed, it should be safely extinguished once done for those entering the forest for recreational activities.