SCDF puts out fire near Lim Chu Kang cemetery after 19-hour battle

The SCDF brought the vegetation fire under control at 2am yesterday. It said at 10am yesterday that damping down operations were under way to prevent any rekindling from the hot burnt surfaces. The deployment yesterday was one of the longest such ope
The SCDF brought the vegetation fire under control at 2am yesterday. It said at 10am yesterday that damping down operations were under way to prevent any rekindling from the hot burnt surfaces. The deployment yesterday was one of the longest such operations by the SCDF in recent years. Annual SCDF statistics released last month noted a sharp jump in vegetation fires last year.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
The nearest fire hydrants were about 2km from the blaze and the firefighters manually laid hoses across the distance, with portable pumps set up at intermediate points to boost the water pressure.
The nearest fire hydrants were about 2km from the blaze and the firefighters manually laid hoses across the distance, with portable pumps set up at intermediate points to boost the water pressure. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Fire near Lim Chu Kang cemetery razes area about the size of a football field

52 firemen, 8 vehicles, 3 water jets to douse fire

SCDF firefighters battled a fire near Lim Chu Kang Chinese Cemetery for 19 hours in one of the longest such operations by the Singapore Civil Defence Force in recent years.

The blaze was finally brought under control at 2am yesterday.

The SCDF said it responded to an alert on the vegetation fire at about 7.05am on Monday.

The blaze, which involved piles of timber waste, affected an area the size of a football field.

"Due to the slow burning, deep-seated fire, coupled with the abundance of nearby thick vegetation and windy conditions, the prolonged firefighting operations are... still ongoing," said the SCDF on its Facebook post about an hour after it responded to the alert.

The nearest fire hydrants were about 2km from the blaze and 25 firefighters from the Special Rescue Unit had to manually lay hoses across the distance to maintain a constant water supply, said the SCDF.


One of the trees in the area that was burnt by the fire. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Portable pumps were also set up at intermediate points to boost the water pressure, it added.

A total of eight emergency vehicles and 52 firefighters were deployed, and three water jets used to bring the fire under control eventually.

The SCDF said that an on-site rest area was also set up for the firefighters to recuperate.

In an update on Facebook at about 10am yesterday, SCDF said that damping down operations to prevent any rekindling from the hot burnt surfaces were under way.

The SCDF also thanked the public for their support, concern and well-wishes for its front-line officers.

"Your kind words keep their fighting spirit high even when the going gets really tough. Thank you!" it said.

Annual statistics released by the SCDF last month noted a sharp jump in vegetation fires last year.

There were nearly 600 such fires last year, an increase of nearly 60 per cent compared with 368 in 2017.

This was largely due to the dry weather in February last year, which had 213 vegetation fires. There were only 17 during the same period in 2017, said the SCDF.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2019, with the headline 'SCDF puts out fire after 19-hour battle'. Print Edition | Subscribe