Two STOMPers witnessed the bushfire at the open field at Tampines St 45 today (Mar 7), and says the smoke engulfed the surrounding blocks, making breathing difficult.
Says STOMPer Putri:
"This open field near Tampines St 45 caught fire today (Mar 7), probably because it is so hot and dry.
"The picture was taken across the TPE."
Another STOMPer, Desmond, comments:
"This happened at about 1.45pm today, at the field next to my home.
"The sweltering hot weather must have dried up the vegetation and this resulted in a fire.
"The burning smoke engulfed the surrounding residential buildings, affecting resident's visibility. The smoke made breathing difficult as there was a bad smell and it was very dusty.
"Firefighters came in within a few minutes and started bringing out the hoses from the nearby blocks (which were at least a good 400m away from the fire).
"Policemen were everywhere, trying to get the public to stand back for their own safety.
"The fire was spreading quickly across the dried grass, and yellow smoke soon emerged from the thick haze as the fire grew.
"Fortunately, firefighters managed to slowly put out the blaze after their continuous effort in spraying water all over the blaze.
"I think it took about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire."
STOMP is trying to contact SCDF for more details, so do check back later.
Do check out the video posted on STOMP.
Related posts: More pictures from massive Tampines bushfire (4th March 2010)
Bushfire the size of a football field rages at Tampines (3rd March 2010)
Scorching sun turns Singapore from 'green' city into gold (3rd March 2010)
The haze is back at Pasir Ris (2nd March 2010)
Bush fire rages at Expo area (19th February 2010)
Related articles: Vegetation fire at Tampines took at least 4 hours to put out (4th March 2010) (Mirror)
Large fire at open field in Tampines (4th March 2010) (Mirror)
Sorry kid, it's going to stay hot and dry for a while (2nd March 2010) (Mirror)
Last month the driest Feb in 140 years (1st March 2010) (Mirror)
February 2010 is driest month for Singapore since records began in 1869 (2010) (Mirror)
Driest February ever recorded to date in Singapore (25th February 2010) (Mirror)
February's a dry, hot season in Singapore (19th February 2010) (Mirror)
Smoke in the air due to bush fires (18th February 2010) (Mirror)
71 bush fires in two weeks (18th February 2010) (Mirror)
I used to live in that neighbourhood! I do have fond memories of exploring that area of open land during my upper primary and secondary school days. Afternoons lost in my own little world, chasing after changeable lizards (Calotes versicolor), common Asian toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) and banded bullfrogs (Kaloula pulchra), trying not to get snagged in the thickets of giant mimosa (Mimosa pigra). Where I squatted in front of marshy ponds for hours, watching tadpoles and water snails. It was where I saw scaly-breasted munia (Lonchura punctulata), little heron (Butorides striatus) and white-breasted waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus). On many occasions, I saw people flying kites or playing around with remote-controlled helicopters.
If there's any consolation, this patch is just part of a large area of scrub and grassland found in many parts of Tampines and Pasir Ris. While the fauna and flora in this area are interesting in their own right, I don't think any species inhabiting this habitat is under any great risk of extinction. The vegetation will grow back eventually, what matters now is whether or not the original species will be able to recolonise the field from the surrounding patches of scrub, separated by barriers such as apartment buildings, roads and concretised drains and canals. I also hope that such fires don't become a regular occurrence, which would eventually lead to the growth of fire-climax vegetation, in which probably only a small proportion of common and hardy species would be able to survive in the long term.