Sinagpore is blanked in haze on August 26 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli has asked for more efforts to be made to completely eliminate the haze problems though fewer fire hotspots were recorded in Indonesia this year compared to last year.

Speaking on the sidelines of a community environment event in Tampines on August 27, Minister Masagos said Singapore is happy that Indonesian authorities are stepping up efforts to control the haze and reduce hotspots, but what is needed is the total prevention of hotspots.

On August 26, air quality in Singapore hit unhealthy levels for the first time this year as westerly winds brought smoke from forest fires in Sumatra to Singapore and is forecast to be worse in the coming days.

Masagos said the number of forest fires this year was less than that a year ago, pointing to the fact that even few hotspots, with the right amount of wind, and enough haze smoke produced, can make Singapore suffer bad air.

In 2015, haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia cost Singapore an estimated 700 million Singaporean dollars.-VNA