Burning smell, haze could be due to local vegetation fires: NEA

Air quality in Singapore is expected to remain in the Moderate range for the next 24 hours, the National Environment Agency says.

Channel NewsAsia 30 Mar 16;

SINGAPORE: The burning smell detected in some parts of Singapore on Tuesday could have been caused by some local vegetation fires, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

The fires and some wind convergence over Singapore in the late afternoon on Tuesday could have also contributed to the deterioration in the air quality in some parts of the island on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, NEA said.

Air quality in Singapore is expected to remain in the Moderate range for the next 24 hours, the agency said. As of 11am on Wednesday, the 24-hour PSI reading was 68-82, in the Moderate range, while the 3-hour PSI reading was 71 and the 1-hr PM2.5 was 17-32 ug/m3.

Fair and warm conditions are forecast for the rest of Wednesday with prevailing winds blowing from the northeast.

While hotspot activities in the surrounding nearby region have been low, there has been a rise in the number of hotspots in the northern ASEAN region which is currently experiencing its traditional dry season, NEA said.

“This could result in an increased concentration of particulate matter such as dust particles in the atmosphere over the region,” it added.

Given the air quality forecast for the next 24 hours, everyone can continue with normal activities, NEA said. Those who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention.

The agency added that it is monitoring the situation closely and will provide further updates when necessary.

NUMBER OF VEGETATION FIRES DOWN: SCDF

In response to media queries, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the number of vegetation fires in the first three months of the year was lower than the previous two years.

There were 121 vegetation fires between January and March, with 94 in March alone. This compares to 97 of such fires in March last year, and 239 in March 2014.

The largest fire this month occurred on Mar 2 along Yishun Ring Road, SCDF said. The fire involved a thick patch of vegetation measuring about 5m by 10m – less than one-quarter the size of a football field. SCDF officers extinguished the fire using two water jets within an hour.

- CNA/cy

SCDF puts out 94 vegetation fires in March
Today Online 30 Mar 16;

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Civil Defence Force has put out 94 vegetation fires around Singapore in March. The biggest vegetation fire this month broke out on March 2 at Yishun Ring Road that involved an area of about 5 m by 10 m, said a statement by the SCDF on Wednesday (March 30). That fire was put out within an hour.

According to statistics provided by SCDF, there have been 121 vegetation fires this year so far, with most of them happening this month. “Overall, the number of such fires for the first three months of this year is comparatively lower than the two previous years,” the SCDF noted. There were 409 vegetation fires in 2015 and 437 fires in 2014.

The SCDF released this information in response to media queries on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, the National Environment Agency attributed the burning smell around Singapore to, in part, vegetation fires.

The NEA also said that hot spots in the the northern part of South-east Asia, which is experiencing a dry season, could also be a cause of the increased concentration of dust particles in the atmosphere.

These factors could have contributed to the burning smell and slight deterioration in air quality, the NEA said.

At 4pm, the 24-hour Pollution Standards Index ranged between 67 and 81. The 24-hour PSI first hit 80 at 10 pm in the southern part of Singapore and at 11 pm in the central part of Singapore on Tuesday night. It has stayed above 80 since for these regions.

The air quality for the next 24 hours is expected to be in the moderate range, according to the NEA. For the rest of Wednesday, fair and warm conditions are forecast with prevailing winds blowing from the northeast.


Hotspots and local vegetation fires could be cause of burning smell
Today Online 30 Mar 16;

SINGAPORE — Hotspots in the northern ASEAN region and local vegetation fires are some factors that could have contributed to the burning smell in Singapore said the National Environment Agency in an advisory sent on Wednesday (March 30).

It noted that there has been a rise in the number of hotspots in the northern part of Southeast Asia that is currently experiencing the traditional dry season. “This could result in an increased concentration of particulate matter such as dust particles in the atmosphere over the region.”

In addition, there were some local vegetation fires reported, and some wind convergence over Singapore in the late afternoon on Tuesday, the NEA said.

“These factors could have contributed to the burning smell and slight deterioration in our air quality in some parts of the island last night and early this morning. NEA is monitoring the situation closely and will provide further updates when necessary.”

The air quality for the next 24 hours is expected to be in the Moderate range, according to the NEA. For the rest of Wednesday, fair and warm conditions are forecast with prevailing winds blowing from the northeast.

At noon, the PSI reading for Singapore ranged from 68 to 82. The 24-hour PSI first hit 80 at 10 pm in the southern part of Singapore and at 11 pm in the central part of Singapore on Tuesday night. It has stayed above 80 since for these regions.

Complaints about the haze are beginning to appear on social media.

One user, @SpikyKelvin, tweeted on Tuesday morning: “Woke up to a HAZY morning here”. Another person, going by the name @morbidshark groaned: “The #SGHaze is back already?! How bad is it gonna get this time”.

Photos are also beginning to appear on Twitter and Instagram. Instagram user @sanyuhesselink posted a photo of the view from Hougang Cape showing a hazy horizon and noted: “this is what happen when you have an inconsiderate neighbour who smokes (burns rainforests) and don’t care about your health or well-being”

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