Yes, those living in and around Lundu Town do almost regularly hear the siren sound of those fire engines especially during dry season such as now. What they seldom see however are how and where these brave firemen are in action. It is not unusual for these brave young men to see action almost every other afternoon, sometimes almost everyday. Luckily though the drought season is not a whole year round affair so there would be some reprieve usually between the months of September/October to May/June when it rains almost regularly again.
What is intriguing though, bush fires are very rampant since the nineteen nineties though the local natives have practiced open burning since time immemorial. The hot spots are predictable, usually along Lundu-Biawak, Lundu-Sematan and Lundu-Bau roads. Since the establishment of a fire brigade in Lundu in 2003, those fire personnels stationed there experienced no lack of live practice of wild fire control despite the lacking of bigger and more advance fire engines. The 30-personnel odd team is capable of dispensing it's duties at a moment's notice anytime, anywhere when needed.
It was this afternoon that I really had my first hand experience of seeing how these brave and tireless young men performed their call of duty. Like always, my "second wife", my camera that is, is always by my side, ever ready to serve me when needed. It just so happened that on my way back from work, there was a ferocious bush fire not more than a kilometer away from my work place. Precisely, the bush fire happened just slightly more than a hundred meters away from Sematan Government Secondary School/Sekolah Menengah Kerajaan Sematan. Had it not been the prompt action of the fire department, the fire would most probably went out of control, causing havoc or even danger to the nearby properties. The wind was strong then, so aptly, it spreads like wildfire, just like how the saying goes.
To share that experience, below are some of the shots that I took depicting how those firemen tried to control the fire from beginning to almost the end. The cause of the fire was still investigated but it could be anything from careless cigarette buds to simply foul play. Whatever the cause, harm was already done, at least to the greeneries.
The bush fire as seen from far.
The bush fire at close up.
Another view of the fire before the fire department arrived.
The fire engine arrived, with seven personnel on the ready.
Not a time for coffee, in action in split seconds.
More hose available.
Proper water pressure control distribution is very essential in dousing/controlling the spread of fire.
Here he is in action.
Running to the next spot, expeditiously but with care.
Thankfully the water pressure was sufficient so the dousing was relatively easy.
Running towards another hot spot.
Adjusting the passageway and traffic control is another specialty of a fireman when in action.
Douse the blaze away, douse the blaze away.
The smoke and the haze, can't recognize whose face!
This unlucky motorcyclist had a slight accident while trying to negotiate the slippery road. Understandable, as visibility is very poor. A fireman giving a helping hand. The motorcyclist wasn't hurt though, so is his young daughter.
En Rahman, the lead fireman on duty, giving a short briefing to one deputy state minister who happened to pass by.
En Rahman, the lead fireman on duty, giving instructions to his colleagues.
Carefully, carefully, cos it's smoky and hazy which caused the very poor visibility.