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121 vegetation fires in first three months of 2016

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) attended to 20 incidents of fire involving pockets of vegetation on Tuesday (March 29), said the SCDF on Wednesday in response to media queries.

Vegetation fire at Aviation Park Road on March 12, 2014. Photo: Don Wong/TODAY

Vegetation fire at Aviation Park Road on March 12, 2014. Photo: Don Wong/TODAY

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SINGAPORE — The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) attended to 20 incidents of fire involving pockets of vegetation on Tuesday (March 29), said the SCDF on Wednesday in response to media queries.

This comes after the National Environment Agency (NEA) said that the burning smell and slight deterioration in air quality in some parts of the island on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning could have been due to factors including local vegetation fires and some wind convergence over Singapore. Other factors included a rise in the number of hotspots in the northern ASEAN region, the NEA had said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the largest vegetation fire “measured an area of merely 2m by 10m”, said the SCDF. It occurred near the junction of Tampines Ave 1 and Tampines Ave 10. The SCDF was alerted at about 10.50am and extinguished the fire within 15 minutes using two water jets.

“The other remaining 19 fire incidents were even smaller with each measuring an average area of 2m by 2m and extinguished either with one water jet or handheld canvas beaters. Most of these fires involved shrubs along the centre dividers of the PIE and BKE,” said the SCDF.

The SCDF also noted that there were fewer vegetation fires (121 so far) in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2015 and 2014 — 409 fires and 437 fires, respectively.

Most of the vegetation fires took place this month. Between March 1 to 29, the SCDF put out 94 vegetation fires, with the biggest fire this month occurring on March 2, along Yishun Ring Road. It involved a thick patch of vegetation measuring an area of about 5m by 10m (less than a quarter of a football field). It was extinguished with two water jets within an hour.

At 6pm, the 24-hour Pollution Standards Index was between 67 and 80, in the moderate range. 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 three-hour PSI at 6pm was 78.

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

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