By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
FIREFIGHTERS are again battling a massive blaze at the New Providence landfill, the fourth fire to erupt in that area since March. The blaze, according to Fire Chief Superintendent Walter Evans, began shortly after 5pm on Thursday in an area of the dump that had been previously unaffected by fires.
“We got a call after 6pm that there was a fire at the landfill. We responded and attempted to contain the blaze. It was eventually brought under control and posed no threat to nearby residents or homes in the surrounding areas,” he said.
“Fire services were aided by the staff at the Department of Environmental Health to try and get the fire contained in the shortest possible time. The fire is burning in a large area, but this area is different than the other areas that burned previously. We are still investigating, but at this point we are still unsure how the fire started.”
There have been at least four fires at the New Providence landfill and the Water and Sewerage Waste Facility, which is a few feet away from the dump, in the past few months. All the fires burned for several weeks. Supt Evans said he is not certain how long this fire will burn.
According to Deputy Director of Environmental Services Thomasina Wilson, the previous fires were all completely extinguished by the end of March.
The smoke from the fires caused widespread discomfort to nearby residents who were forced to evacuate because of the heavy smoke. Several schools were also closed temporarily as winds spread fumes over New Providence.
Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett said last month that remedial work on the New Providence landfill will start before the end of this fiscal year when the private company Renew Bahamas will perform services that are expected to help end many long-standing issues with the city dump.