Singapore may experience burning smell, slight haze due to 3 Johor hotspots: NEA

Singapore may experience burning smell, slight haze due to 3 Johor hotspots: NEA

HDB flats
HDB flats in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: Singapore may experience a burning smell and slight haze over the next few days due to three hotspots in southern Johor, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (Mar 6).

The agency was responding to Channel NewsAsia's queries after residents in various parts of Singapore noticed a strong burning smell on Tuesday evening.

The smell was reported from areas such as Bukit Panjang, Punggol, Bishan, Serangoon, Yishun and Aljunied, with one resident describing it as "really bad".

READ: Hotspot in Johor could bring 'slightly hazy' conditions to Singapore: NEA

"NEA has detected smoke plumes from three hotspots in southern Johor to the east and northeast of Singapore," the authority confirmed.

"With the prevailing north or northeasterly winds, these fires are the likely cause of the burning smell experienced by the public yesterday evening."

These winds, NEA said, are expected to continue for the next few days. As such, Singapore may experience a burning smell and slight haze if the fires in Johor persist.

READ: Second Johor hotspot detected; fires could bring 'some smell and haze' to Singapore: NEA

It added that since 6pm on Tuesday evening, the Pollution Standards Index (PSI) across Singapore was in the good to low-moderate range.

"Given the current air quality, normal activities can continue," NEA said.

"We are closely monitoring the air quality and will provide updates on any significant change to the air quality situation."

According to NEA, periods of dry weather are common in the surrounding region at this time of the year. This can lead to outbreaks of land and vegetation fires.

READ: Feeling hot? Here's why February was one of the hottest in 90 years

There have been several reports of a strong burning smell in parts of Singapore due to hotspots in Johor since early February.

On Feb 8, residents in the eastern part of Singapore complained about a smoky smell in the air, which NEA attributed to a fire at a landfill at Bandar Tenggara in Johor.

In a separate incident in mid-February, NEA said a burning smell detected in the northeast of Singapore was likely related to a fire at Tanjong Langsat landfill in Pasir Gudang.

Two other incidents reported in the last two weeks were also due to hotspots in Johor, including a fire at an oil palm plantation that brought a burning smell to parts of Singapore last Tuesday. 

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Source: CNA/aa(hm)

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