Singapore experienced the highest number of bush fires in decades due to the dry spell over the island.
In just the first two weeks of Feb 2009, 106 fires have been recorded, making it potentially capable of beating the record 182 in January. Both numbers are well above the average of 26 cases for the month over the past 10 years.
In addition to the danger of bush fires in proliferating to densely populated centers, smoke from fires has released particles into the air that are kept stagnant in the air by weak wind conditions, resulting in an enveloping haze that started from 13 Feb 2009.
Another problem caused by the haze is the heatwave that it has triggered which has left Singaporeans yearning for cooler weather. This may cause more members of the public to turn up the aircon and increase energy use or to modify their daily activities by giving up outdoor exercises.
Coping with this new situation, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has installed dry hydrant systems to provide water supply in areas with dry vegetation like Tampines and Fort Road.
The National Environment Agency noted that the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) crept up to the "moderate" from “good” range of between 53 and 57 in the duration of 14 to 15 Feb 2009.
Singapore is far more fortunate than Australia which is battling the worst bush fires in its history with death toll from wildfires that raged through southeastern Australia rising to 189 on Monday 16 Feb 2009.
Channelnewsasia, "Aussie wildfire toll rises as suspected arson named in court" dated 16 February 2009 in the Channelnewsasia website [downloaded on 17 Feb 2009], avialable at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/409388/1/.ht...
Frois, Cheryl, "Dry spell causes bush fires to surge to record numbers" dated 16 Feb 2009 in the Channel NewsAsia website [downloaded on 17 Feb 2009], available at