Dump fire finally out, says chief fire officer

| 18/03/2020 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service
George Town dump, 11 March 2020

(CNS): Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker confirmed Wednesday that one of the most challenging and persistent fires ever seen at the George Town landfill has been fully extinguished. As most Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) officers prepared to leave the site after almost three weeks, Walker said that smoke is no longer emitting from the site and all hot-spots have been identified and doused. Some fire officers will remain at the scene today and overnight as a precaution in case of re-ignition. The RCIPS helicopter will also be deployed to provide aerial images.

Walker said that CIFS and the Department of Environmental Health had “worked meticulously to resolve this challenging and protracted incident. Taking this approach has greatly reduced the chance of re-ignition across the site.”

Saying that he expected that fire officers would no longer be required at the landfill from tomorrow morning, he added that CIFS would continue to work closely with DEH staff and and that he had instructed the dump workers to inform the fire service “as soon as any potential signs of ignition, however small, are identified”.

Walker added that he was “immensely proud” of the fire crews and partner agencies, who had put in great effort, working long hours, to tackle a difficult situation and put the fire out.

Meanwhile, with the COVID-19 outbreak and efforts to contain and protect the Cayman population from this serious pandemic, government is entirely preoccupied. It is not clear whether or not the planned remediation of the garbage heap, which DECCO, Dart’s construction company, was expected to start earlier this month will now go ahead.

It is certain, however, that the battle against the spread of COVID-19 will take priority over the apparently derailed talks between government and DECCO. Negotiations over the details of the larger contract for the national waste management plan and the waste-to-energy project are understood to have virtually collapsed, since the Dart company, which was selected to take on the project, appears to be disinclined to undertake the work.


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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Was smoking again last night at 10pm they spraying and digging.

    It will never be fully out now.

  2. Anon says:

    I’m sure wev’e heard that comment before – a dozen times maybe?.

  3. Anonymous says:

    they better keep their fingers crossed till rainy season kicks in

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope when this Covid thing dies down a bit we are buying up all the extra ventilators. We will need them in a few years when we all have breathing problems from the dump.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s out until it flares up again

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct. The problem is this is a decomposing heap of trash. Simple chemistry here – weight and decomp equals heat. Add that to all the inflammable materials dumped there and the gases like methane that this ****heap generates – you get a fire. All that will happen now is it will look under control until the gases build up and the whole thing kicks off again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you guys /ladies. Hope each of you can get some rest now.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good job, but don’t count them chickens yet! We were told it was out in January, then look what happened. My guess, it never went out, it just went into hibernation.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great job! All firefighters deserve an applaud! Hope they are always protected from health hazards.

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