Number of hotspots in Sumatra surge six times, "slight" haze may return: NEA

The Singapore city skyline obscured by the haze on June 20, 2013. Singapore may have to prepare for hazier skies over the next few days, after the number of hot spots in Sumatra rose nearly six-fold from 86 on Saturday to 488 on Monday. -- MY FILE PH
The Singapore city skyline obscured by the haze on June 20, 2013. Singapore may have to prepare for hazier skies over the next few days, after the number of hot spots in Sumatra rose nearly six-fold from 86 on Saturday to 488 on Monday. -- MY FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE may have to prepare for hazier skies over the next few days, after the number of hot spots in Sumatra rose nearly six-fold from 86 on Saturday to 488 on Monday.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Monday night that dense smoke plumes observed over central Sumatra may be blown here if current southerly and southeasterly winds started blowing Singapore's way instead.

This may cause "slightly hazy conditions", it added.

As of 8pm, the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading stood at 30, remaining in the good range.

The 24-hour PSI forecast that ends at 6pm on Tuesday is still expected to be in the good range.

The NEA added that it had registered its concern about the latest surge in forest fires with the Indonesian authorities, requesting "an urgent update" from them.

Just last Tuesday, Singapore woke to find a slight haze, which was caused by farmers in Indonesia burning plantations to clear land for the next planting season, enveloping parts of the island.

The three-hour PSI reading that day hit a high of 56 - the highest since the 71 registered on June 30.