Haze may return due to increase in Sumatra hotspots: NEA

A worker from a palm oil concession company, seen at right, extinguishes forest fire in the Kampar district, Riau province on Sumatra island, on June 29, 2013. Forest fires on Sumatra in June left neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia choking on hazardous levels of smog from the worst haze in more than a decade

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has reported an increase in the number of hotspots in Sumatra over the last two days, signalling a possible return of hazy conditions in Singapore.

In a haze forecast released on Sunday afternoon, the government agency said that “smoke plumes” were observed from these 261 hotspots but added that Singapore will experience hazy conditions only if the wind direction changes to blow from the west or southwest.

States in neighbouring Malaysia, have already started experiencing unhealthy levels of air quality over the weekend. At 6am on Monday, Bukit Rambai in Malacca recorded the highest PSI reading of 117.

As of 7am on Monday, Singapore’s 24-hour PSI was in the low range of 24 and 33.