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Blaze At City Dump Still Smoulders Two Days On

Firefighters in the thick of the smoke where they continued to damp down the fire.

Firefighters in the thick of the smoke where they continued to damp down the fire.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

MORE than 20 firefighters worked throughout the night to extinguish a fire at the City Dump that has been burning for two days.

Yesterday afternoon, the Fire Chief, Superintendent Walter Evans, said the fire was still smoldering below the surface.

"There are no visible flames but the fire is still there, burning at between three to five feet below the garbage. We had to use several pieces of heavy-duty equipment to assist in disrupting the surfacing so we can get to the fire," he said.

"It is a very huge area so we have people from Fire Services, the Defence Force and Environmental Health to assist us. There were some challenges with wind and so we had to make some adjustments to our strategy. That impeded the process a little.

"Right now however, the fire is contained and not out of control. It is still giving off smoke and every effort is being made to reduce the smoke discomfort."

Supt Evans said the cause of the fire is still unknown.

According to police reports, the Fire Department got a call shortly before noon on Tuesday that the City Dump was ablaze. Firefighters responded and were able to contain the fire quickly.

Police are advising residents of the area to keep their windows closed and do whatever they can to avoid inhaling the thick smoke.

Anyone experiencing breathing problems or headaches, vomiting, nausea or unusual fatigue, should seek medical assistance immediately.

Drivers who use Fire Trail Road, Milo Butler Highway and the surrounding areas are asked to drive with care and attention and avoid the area if possible.

Comments

carlh57 2 years, 7 months ago

Other than just having 3 trucks. It takes "manpower" and machinery to combat these types of fires. It takes more than just "damping down" the fire. IT takes unearthing the hot spots and digging. Is this going to be the new "normal" for NP? Hope not! This fire, like our good friends at the airport, also affects how people enjoy or think about the island.

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carlh57 8 months ago

In a report published by Waste Management World (leading waste company the the world), they emphatically state (and i am quoting directly from their report below):

"Atmospheric emissions from landfill fires are often dismissed as a nuisance. The following are two examples of just how serious the ‘nuisance’ is: Dioxin emissions: (remember the Bhopal disasterr?) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) considers that for the foreseeable future, non-industrial, uncontrolled combustion, mainly comprised of landfill fires and illegal barrel burning, will remain the most significant source of persistant organic pollutants (POPs) in the form of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCCDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCCFs) in Europe (Thornton, 2002). Gases and Vapors: landfill fires emit a toxic cocktail of ‘Most Wanted’ fugitive gases including formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides and many others (OEPA, 2006). Visible smoke might not be visible since compacted waste acts as a good particulate filter, but fugitive gases are able to percolate towards the surface. Emitted smoke is a hazard and has resulted in the imposition of Civil Aviation Authority ‘no-fly’ zones. A particular problem with smoke, which is largely unburned carbon, is particles that have become activated, in the form of an adsorbent, with a huge appetite for mopping-up ‘most wanted’ contaminants. Very small particles, known as Sub PM2.5s (smaller than 2.5 millionths of a meter in diameter) are capable of remaining airborne for days, and together with adsorbed contaminants will pass directly into the bloodstream once inhaled."

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