by Ryan Gilkes
Two shelters have been opened to deal with any fallout from today’s major blaze at the Mangrove landfill.
Incident Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Bruce Rowe told journalists this evening that the Sharon Primary School and the Lester Vaughan have been opened in the event residents have to leave their homes.
In addition, the Accident and Emergency Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been placed on stand by.
“Thank God there are no one at those shelters so far or no one has had to be taken to the Accident and Emergency Department. The personnel that is on site have been working well and they have hand no incident here,” he said.
He also confirmed that the fire, which started just after 9:20 this morning had been brought under control around 4 pm using top soil to smolder the fire.
“They will wet it down sometime tomorrow [Tuesday]. We will continue to monitor it for the next couple of days because the heat is a problem and it may build back. [But] so far, we are progressing steadily and good.
“I can tell you that the smoke is not affecting people downwind in Arch Hall. We have had the assistance of the Environmental Protection Department [EPD] and others in checking and we are continuing to monitor,” Rowe explained.
Meantime, Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewaite said surveillance of the area has shown very little fallout of material in Arch Hall, Sandy Lane and the surrounding areas down wind of today’s fire.
“You would expect that this would have happened as long as the fire comes under control simply because of the reduction of temperatures; the material rather than going high in the air, would go lower in that atmosphere. We expect to go back there in a few hours time to address that situation. The major concern in a situation like this would be the extended period of time that persons would be inhaling this materials.
“From the missions we have conducted already we have found that people did recognize that there is some material in the atmosphere, however it is not at a persistent level. It is every now and again so we are happy that they are saying that. They are also telling us that things are not as bad as we think it should have been,” the Chief Environmental Health Officer noted.