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Fighting Fire From The Air

FireIce is dropped over the landfill.

FireIce is dropped over the landfill.

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

GELTECH solutions, a company that specialises in fighting fires while protecting the environment, has been contracted by the government to assist in extinguishing the massive blaze at the New Providence Landfill that has been burning for more than a week.

In an interview with The Tribune, Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett said the US based company, along with Fletcher Air, began dropping FireIce - a firefighting gel - on the sites at the landfill on Sunday, that were either too dangerous or unreachable by firefighters.

The exercise will cost the government under $80,000 and is expected to continue over the next few days.

“The product will be distributed by the air so you would have seen planes flying over the landfill,” Mr Dorsett told The Tribune. “With the few drops that have taken place so far it appears that the chemical is working and working well.

“Areas we could not see are clearly visible and so they are going to continue to do drops by air. The product will be deployed on the ground through Hydroseeders, meaning activity will take place in the air and on the ground using some of the fire retardant product. Our objective is to get the smoke out of the area. The reality is depending on where the wind shifts, the smoke shifts and impacts communities and so we are going to be working as aggressively as possible to eliminate the smoke and put out the fire.”

“This is the first time we have ever deployed aircraft to assist us in outing a fire. These are the same resources that are used in the United States for forest fires, metal fires and tyre fires and thus far it seems as though the product is working and we should be able to give a better assessment by the end of today (Monday),” Mr Dorsett added.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Works and Urban Development, as well as the Department of Housing and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) conducted an assessment of Jubilee Gardens and the areas affected Mr Dorsett said on Monday that the assessment will continue throughout the week to determine the immediate needs of persons in the area. He said an all clear will be given by Fire Chief Superintendent Walter Evans when the area is determined safe for residents to return.

“We are continuing our door to door assessment to determine the damage in the home, the soot, inside and out and the extent to which the homes need to be deodorised,” he said.

“The Department of Housing along with NEMA and Social Services will continue that assessment. As far as the all clear is involved Mr Evans and his team will make that determination.”

On March 5, a massive blaze broke out at the Harold Road landfill site, blanketing nearby communities, and in particular Jubilee Gardens, in thick, black hazardous smoke and forcing residents in that community to evacuate their homes.

Last Wednesday, Mr Dorsett said there is no definite date set for when Jubilee Gardens residents will be able to return to their homes. Initially, officials said residents would have to wait five to seven days.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 6 months ago

This little crop duster plane won't put a dent in the smoldering dump fire. I could have been hired to drink a few Kalik beers and pee more water on the dump fire than this plane can drop on it in a day. The good people of Jubilee Gardens will now probably be poisoned by whatever fire retardant this little plane is dropping on them. Only our Crooked dumb arse PM, Crooked Christie, could be so stupid as to hire this little rinky-dink toy plane for $80,000 to fly over the dump area for show. Crooked Christie and Woman Smacker Leslie Miller must think the voters in Jubilee Gardens are truly dumb and stupid....more dumb and stupid than they are!!!

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FireIce_Wildland 2 years, 9 months ago

Hi! We're just here to follow up and let you know that FireIce is eco-friendly and there is no 'poison' in it to harm the good people of Jubilee Gardens! I believe this fire was extinguished shortly after FireIce was applied...

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Sickened 3 years, 6 months ago

Interesting idea. Hope it works. I would need to see it in action though in order to see how much area each drop covers in order to comment intelligently. I would however surmise that it wouldn't soak in too deeply in order to get to the fire and enormous heat which is many feet underneath the surface. One would most likely need to move very quickly to put tons of sand on top on the drop zone in order to smother the fire. For $80k... I would try it!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 6 months ago

Are you Leslie Miller? Your writing certainly sounds like him!

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Sickened 3 years, 6 months ago

I am VERY offended by that! As Perry would say... F You! I will, in future, try not to sound too ignorant in my writings!! LOL!

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FireIce_Wildland 2 years, 9 months ago

We believe it was very effective after looking at the results all these months later... wouldn't you? Some would say $80k seems like quite a smart expenditure to help extinguish a fire that had been burning for that long.

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banker 3 years, 6 months ago

My understanding of the technology, is that each little droplet of gel absorbs humidity and water from the air and ground and the whole thing turns into a co-polymer that inhibits combustion. Could work. Hope it does.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 6 months ago

The cost of the kind of fire retardant you're talking about is upwards of $80 per gallon and a gallon of it would only cover a 100 square foot area. $80,000 worth of it would cover about 2.3 acres and that does not even include the rental cost of the plane and the aviation fuel consumed. I can assure you the dump site area now smoldering from underground combustion greatly exceeds 2.3 acres. Just do the maths in order to appreciate why $80,000 will not even put a small dent in this most hazardous problem! What's being done here is the same kind of smoke and mirrors Crooked Christie does with everything in the run up to a general election.....like the impending grand opening of Baha Mar for instance!

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow reviewing this information I'm even more shocked at Ken Dorsett, because as you suggest, a day after he told us they had the situation under control he came back and said they ran out of retardant. What???? Either the company is running a scam or the government ignored advice. This was too easy for you to estimate.and they're supposed to be "experts". I'm assuming someone asked the sq ft question, ..... ran out in.one day, unbelievable

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FireIce_Wildland 2 years, 9 months ago

Hi! Just wanted to take this time to let you know that your math and estimations aren't very close to the actual numbers, and also to ask how you feel about the end results?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 6 months ago

The aircraft shown in these two YouTube video links are precisely the kind that should be making multiple drops over our dump site. Rental of this kind of fire fighting equipment costs a helluva lot more than $80,000. But our Crooked Christie-led corrupt PLP government does not value the lives of lower income Bahamians and would rather waste millions of dollars on a Carnival to placate the wishes of Sebas Bastian and his cronies like Paul Major.

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FireIce_Wildland 2 years, 9 months ago

Hi! Just wanted to follow up with you to see if you still believe that FireIce and the equipment used was a waste?

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reverendrichlkemp 3 years, 6 months ago

It will work, it works all the time here in the US...unless ya'll workin' Obeah ~ ha...ha,,

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