Systems and new kit help mitigate fire

| 03/03/2015 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The latest dump fire was contained within an hour, government officials have claimed, pointing to improvements in the team and upgraded equipment. A small surface fire ignited at the George Town landfill on Sunday around lunchtime but fire crews were on the scene fighting the flames before 1pm, and with help from the Department of Environmental Health personnel, they were able to quickly bring the fire under control.

Improvements made to the management team and continuing upgrades of equipment at the landfill have meant an ability to minimise fires and react quickly when they occur, DEH officials said. The department is expecting to have the excavators that were out of operation, along with the D8 and D6 bulldozers, in operation soon to help with the ongoing improvements to waste management.

At this point, officials said, the cause of Sunday’s fire is not known and a team of fire officers. DEH staff remained on site overnight to monitor the blaze and contain potential hot spots but there were no further blazes. With the firefighting operation now able to wind down, monitoring will continue over the next few days as staff use the working excavator to turn over the hot waste, while water is added to extinguish and cool the waste.

“This was a surface fire that affected a small area in the landfill,” said DEH Director Roydell Carter. “Fortunately that area was recently compacted using the new compactor unit. Due to the rapid response and compaction of the waste, the fire was quickly contained; minimising its severity.” He added, “It could have easily been a different situation, especially with the strong winds yesterday, so I want to commend the CIFS and DEH teams for working so hard to extinguish the land fire.”

Carter said the fire demonstrated the importance of having the right equipment in working order as he pointed to the new $450,000 compactor and a number of fire wells that were added to the site in 2014.

“Fortunately the location of the fire was close to one of the fire-wells so that crews had a continuous supply of water to fight the fire,” he said.

This was the first fire at the dump this year after the site was plagued in recent years with numerous fires, including a nasty one among the tyres still held at the landfill, as efforts to dispose of them have yet to yield results.

The premier recently took over responsibility for the dump and the long and controversial road to a national solution to the country’s a garbage problem from his colleague Osbourne Bodden. In a controversial Cabinet swap following the notorious Ozziegate scandal, when the former minister launched a well-publicised attack on the ministry’s chief office, McLaughlin took on both health and environmental health to his list of existing responsibilities, handing community services offer to Bodden.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s what we’ll do, we’ll leave the dump where it is but get better fire fighting equipment so we can out the fires faster. Great tactics!!

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