by Ryan Giles
The major fire at the Mangrove landfill is not a threat to residents at this time.
That assurance has been given by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Tennyson Springer, who said the smoke was well above the populated Arch Hall area, and was being blown out to sea.
“So far, there is no immediate threat to the residents in the area. However, we would ask that they be cautious and be a part of their own monitoring team and if they feel any effects please let us know early,” Springer said.
“They can contact the director [of the Department of Emergency Management] if they are being affected at 2302693. [She] would then be able to put the necessary arrangements in place, if necessary.”
He said environmental officers would be monitoring the smoke in Bennetts, Arch Hall, Sandy Lane and Seaview.
In the meantime, tonnes of soil was being ferried from sites located next to the landfill as attempts continued to put out the blaze which began around 9:20 this morning and was still raging up to mid afternoon.
“We are moving some of the tyres that are not burning as yet. What we are doing is trying to smother the fire by using topsoil to cover it. It is going to take a while, I don’t know how long, but we are trying our best,” said acting Deputy Fire Chief, Lloydson Philips.
An Incident Command Centre has been set up to dispatch information under the direction of incident commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Bruce Rowe.
Teams have been drawn from the Barbados Fire Service, Roving Response, Environmental Protection Department, Sanitation Service Authority, Ministry of Health and the Department of Emergency Management.