Singapore offers anti-haze help to Malaysia and Indonesia

The hazy Singapore skyline on June 18, 2013, taken from the 56th floor of Swissotel The Stamford Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH
The hazy Singapore skyline on June 18, 2013, taken from the 56th floor of Swissotel The Stamford Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - Singapore has offered help to Malaysia and Indonesia to combat any land and forest fires in the run-up to the traditional dry season, to prevent another severe haze episode from affecting the region.

The Singapore Government has offered Indonesia Singapore Civil Defence Force teams to help fight fires and to provide anti-fire planning assistance, aircraft to transport the fire-fighting teams and to carry out cloud-seeding operations to create rain artificially, and satellite pictures and hotspot coordinates.

This is the same assistance package offered to Indonesia in previous years.

The Singapore Government has also pledged to help Malaysia fight fires if the need arises.

Illegal use of fire in Indonesia to clear land for agriculture has been the main cause of haze in the region.

Last year, Singapore had its worst episode of haze, with the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index hitting an unprecedented 246 on June 20.

In March this year, Singapore was also affected by haze from Malaysia.