Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mystery of Langkawi's Missing Forest

Ai spotted the hill burning last week. It was a huge fire according to Ai and she contacted the bomba (fire department). Unfortunately at that time, she didn't have the camera with her. The team went back to the scene on the next day to monitor the burning.

The picture below shows the burning site at 4:30pm. The faint smoke was above the huge bungalow. Notice the bungalow on the hill?

The picture below shows the white smoke grew larger and more obvious at 5:00pm. We decided to call the bomba once again. In order to boost up their sense of urgency, we sounded panicky and told them that we were at the scene.
Ai knew how to get up to the bungalow on the hill and we drove up to find the burning site. We went all the way to the end of the tarred road and the burning site was no where to be found. It was a beautiful road that cut through the rubber plantation. Then I recalled another turn off and we turned back to check. And then we found it.
From the above picture, I zoomed into a single tree which was still burning. See the following picture below

This was zoomed 20x optical and 12x digital zoom

Jalan Kampung Ranggut Besar, Mukim Padang Matsirat; Langkawi

Langkawi's forest is being taken away illegally for planting of rubber trees, perhaps? The culprits were also taking advantage of the dry season to expedite the burning process. However, these idiots were ignorant about the safety of the neighborhood should a strong wind helped to spread the wildfire. 

During our search for the site, there were conversations between the bomba and us on that day and the day before. There were some ridiculous responses and funny remarks from the spokespersons. We were asked if the smoke would spread and become fire. Huh? Are we the experts or they are? I will not publish the rest of their comments here. If you are keen to know more, let us sit down for a teh tarik.

Where and whatever happen to the Jabatan Perhutanan (Forestry Department)? <sigh>

As expected, we did not get the results we wanted, however, as a reward for Ai, we spotted the Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) on our way down. It was Ai's lifer.
I used a slow shutter speed because my flash was not working well


  1. Good job there WChinner. Was the land a forest reserve or was it just a stateland forest ?

  2. Hi DYM Monyet King;
    That is a very good question. According to the bomba it was a forest reserve. But they could be wrong. I will check this out. Thank you for reminding me on the state land thing.

    Because of that, I had changed this blog content and removed the "reserve" word until I have a definite answer. I will leave it as forest because it was a forest that was taken away.

    Thanks again.

  3. Hi
    you can check the langkawi development plan that indicate state reserve land , and forest reserve land , you need any help?


  4. Hi Chiang;
    Yes... it would be great. Any help will certainly help.. Many thanks. Do you have a copy of the plan? Can i get to see?


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