Hands up if you woke up last night after dreaming of a huge fire that destroyed your entire estate?
What lingered in your woke state wasn’t a part of your fertile imagination or overactive olfactory prowess, but the real-life acrid stench of what appears to be continual open burning from our neighbours up North.
Yah right, as if our tension was that cool.
According to National Environment Agency, our 24 Hour PSI as at 9 AM this morning stood at 53, which was just slightly over the “Good” band, crossing into the “Moderate” zone.
Cooler-than-PSI-sounding 1 Hr PM2.5 readings stood at 12 µg/m3, which was miraculously somehow way within the “Normal” bandwidth.
But if Singaporeans can trust our nosy selves with hunting down a good plate of chicken rice or smelling a whiff of our colleague’s bullshit excuse of an MC, we can definitely smell smoke.
Which once said a Old Wise Man of its origins: “There can be no smoke fire without or Ayam Brand without Tuna.”
According to graphical illustration, there now appears to be more hotspots raging in Malaysia, with two in the closest Malaysian state to us, Johor.
Apart from the fire burning at Bandar Penawar, an area of oil palm plantation, Mothership reported that “another hotspot has also been observed further north near Sungei Gambul, which is in the vicinity of oil palm plantations too.”
Now that would appear to be the little (two) red dots to the north-eastern side of Singapore in the graphical illustration above.
Prevailing winds blowing from the northeast direction appears to be carrying over the resultant smoke particles from Malaysia.
What makes it possibly worse though is the admission of Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis.
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According to The Star, “1,443 open burning cases had been reported throughout the state in the first two months,” which translates to about 24 open burning cases in Johor since the beginning of the year.
That, according to my calculation, works out to be about 1 freakin’ burning per hour, for the past 50 odd days.
He further explains that the fires are both natural and man-made in origin, with some sparked by the intense heat of the weather, while the others deliberately caused by man.
Of the fires, rubbish burning constitutes 20% while the bush burning rounds contributes to the large majority of the 1,443 figure.
That said, and in good sense, Yahaya has “urged the public to refrain from any open burning activities, especially with the current heatwave.”
“It is very easy for the flames to spread beyond control during the dry season and it is better to completely stop any fire-related activities”
To be honest, I can’t quite imagine what Malaysians on the ground go through when they themselves are doing the burning.
If the smell is already that acrid and unbearable here in SG, I can only hope heed is taken from Yahaya’s advice.
For all our noses’ sake.
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