SPANISH TOWN, St. Catherine — For the second time two weeks, smoke caused by a bush fire brought traffic to a standstill along sections of the Highway 2000 tollroad, in the vicinity of Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine.
Maintenance crews from Highway 2000 fight a bush fire near the highway that caused poor visibility for motorists using the toll road in St. Catherine yesterday.
About 11:00 a.m., the fire department was summoned to the area and a team from the Portmore Fire Station responded. The Old Harbour unit has been out of commission and is in the garage.
To compound the problem for the firemen, the small unit from Portmore holds approximately 400 gallons of water and had to make several trips with a leaking hose. Strong winds also contributed to difficulties for the firemen.
MORE THAN FOUR ACRES DESTROYED
By the time the firefighters received assistance from Highway 2000, the fire had already burned more than four acres of property and blanketed a section of the toll road with smoke. This brought traffic to a snarl, with motorists forced to use their headlights.
According to Leroy Lewis, district officer for the St. Catherine fire department, the resources of the department were stretched to the limit. He said it was a common view on the street that it is easier to burn than pay to clear the land.
“People must know that it is a very dangerous practice to light fire thinking that you are clearing land, as there are people with respiratory illnesses and persons must stop this practice,” District Officer Lewis said.
Two weeks ago, a bush fire which significantly reduced visibility on sections of the toll road, caused a seven-vehicle collision which left several persons injured.