Fire crews tackle new dump blaze

| 22/09/2019 | 20 Comments
Cayman News Service, Cayman Islands Fire Service
Cayman Islands Fire Service at Grand Cayman landfill (file photo)

(CNS): Cayman Islands Fire Service crews were called to the George Town landfill Sunday morning after another hot spot in the mountain of trash ignited. Officials said that smoke was spotted emerging from an area in the centre at the top of dump around 7:30am by the attendant at the landfill gate, who alerted the CIFS. The fire is in a different location to last week’s smouldering areas and crews are using various means to put out the latest blaze.

Dump fires are by no means an uncommon problem for the beleaguered Department of Environmental Health, which for the last few years has struggled to manage the mounting garbage issue on Grand Cayman.

Government selected a Dart-led consortium as the proffered bidder in October 2017 to build a waste-to energy plant and come up with a long-term solution to the islands’ garbage problem. But almost two years on, no contract has been signed and no plan unveiled.

Meanwhile, the existing team at DEH is now dealing with a resurgence of dump fires.

On this occasion, fire crews and staff at the dump said they were using mechanical excavators, pumps and hoses to damp down the area so that they can then remove the hot materials from the top to be spread for wetting and cooling. Fire officers are also using water monitors, which are controllable, high capacity water jets, as well as thermal imaging cameras to detect hot spots.

“Although small amounts of smoke may be visible during this process, there is no immediate risk to public safety at this time,” said DEH Assistant Director Michael Haworth. “Both DEH and the Fire Service will remain on site as long as necessary to resolve the incident and minimise chances of reignition.”

Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker, who begin his one-year posting this month, said the fire service is reallocating resources to ensure that its ability to respond to any other call will not be affected while fire crews work at the dump.

The fire may affect operations at the landfill gate as, pending further excavation and damping down of the site, containers may be delayed in clearance and backed up. The Ministry of Environmental Health apologised for any inconvenience this may cause.


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Category: Local News

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank God they didn’t move it to Bodden Town!!!!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    When was it, if ever, that we had intelligent leadership in our government?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    ffs why has no contract been signed to deal w/ this mess in 2 years???? What the heck is the hold up??

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The flies and smell must be horrendous in such a warm climate. It’s getting like a third world country. What a health hazard!!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t we just let it burn? Peanuts compared to the emissions created by ships on a daily basis.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine how out of control it would be if the whole dump took fire?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Let it burn, let it burn, let it burn ….. dioxins for breakfast, furans for lunch and chlorpyrifos for dinner.
    Not even Huge Shave would save your children.

  8. Anonymous says:

    if you ever want to know what caymanians think about the environment….just look to mount trashmore

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Fix the DUMP!!!!!! How many times do the people who voted for you have to say it PPM!!!!!! Stop talking about the new Port until this is sorted. Mess. So third world , an embarrassment to locals and shocking to visitors.

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    • hear hear says:

      Move it if you have to. The point is that it has to go somewhere and the current location is no longer viable!

      • Anonymous says:

        OK – where? It has to be downwind of population centers, and central to where the waste is produced (where people live). The prevailing wind is from the east. Take those facts, and tell us where the dump should be.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The time has come Joey, for action. DO SOMETHING.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Joey?

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