Investigation begins into massive bush fire

 Investigation begins into massive bush fire

5 March 2008

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Jamaica — An investigation will begin Wednesday morning to determine the cause of a bush fire which razed several hundred acres of farm land in seven communities in St. Elizabeth on Tuesday.

It took scores of fire-fighters eight hours to bring the blaze under control.

The fire, which started shortly after 3 o’clock in Bigwoods, spread to adjoining communities due to strong winds and dry conditions.

The situation was compounded by the inability of fire personnel to access water to battle the blaze.

Assistance was sought from the Rapid Response Unit.

As the fire continued on its destructive path, fire-fighters were at times unable to gain access to some of the hilly terrain.

Homer Morris Senior Deputy Superintendent in charge of the St. Elizabeth Fire Department said the fire affected the communities of Malvern, Ivor Cottage area, Elgin and we went to Abrahams, Stanmore, Retreat and Retirement.

Residents claim the blaze was started by narcotics police who were on a ganja eradication operation in Bigwoods.

Members of the farming community are counting now their losses following the massive blaze.

“Everything I had on the farm was lost. I lost about an acre of melons, tomatoes, everything went. It was like gas …it was so dry. It (was) very difficult to (get) it under control when it is razing,” said Lloyd Blackwood.

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