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Call for public vigilance against bush fire threat

Warning sounded after March 5 blaze within nature reserve amid dry spell

Published on Mar 20, 2014 7:31 AM
A charred area in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve following a March 5 blaze that required the combined forces of the SCDF, PUB and NParks in order to put out. Firefighting operations took over four hours to complete. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The rain may have returned to douse fears of Singapore's garden city becoming brown and filled with haze.

But attracting considerably less public attention have been more than 400 bush fires sparked off since the dry spell began in January. Many of these burned in isolated, vegetated areas and were extinguished swiftly by the authorities.

However, one that started two weeks ago in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve proved less straightforward and has prompted the Government to call for public vigilance.

Accounts obtained by The Straits Times from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), national water agency PUB and the National Parks Board (NParks) have shed light on what the latter said was the reserve's first fire in more than a decade.

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