Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados — A St Thomas bushfire left a large section of the Mangrove Pond Landfill smoking after the flames jumped the landfill’s firewall yesterday.
Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) general manager Stanton Alleyne said the area affected was in Phase 2 on the eastern side of the landfill and it was mostly soil and grass.
“We are trying to get it smothered, but the one good thing about this is that this landfill has been covered before. You have a lot to get through; it would be difficult to get past the surface,” he told the DAILY NATION on the site.
He said the fire, which started around 10:45 a.m., should be under control within a day or two.
Alleyne said even though there was the wall, a few sparks from the fire at Vaucluse ignited the area.
He added that there were some concerns about the gas emissions which usually came from landfills, but given that the area was covered before, the fire should remain on the surface.
Three bulldozers heaped mud, normally stored in Phase 2, onto the area which had small flames in some spots, but mostly smoke.
Michael Nicholls, acting deputy manager of operations at the SSA, said it was something they had to deal with every year, as last year Phase 1 also caught fire.
One concern expressed by the SSA was that with the Arch Hall Fire Station so close by, it still took four hours for a fire tender to arrive.
Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Blackman said a tender could not respond earlier because with the vast increase in bushfires islandwide this and last month, their resources were stretched to the maximum.
“Up to this point we have had 1 582 fires and that figure could be higher. For the whole of 2005, we had 1 725,” he added.