Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
New protocols implemented by the Department of Waste Management have led to early notification and action to address smoke and fire at the Virgin Gorda Landfill.
Director of Waste Management, Mr. Marcus Solomon said on Saturday, July 29 at 6:35 p.m. the Department of Waste Management was notified of smoke emanating from the landfill. He said the Fire Department was notified, but due to the nature of the site and the terrain, a decision was made to employ the assistance of water trucks to manage the situation.
Mr. Solomon stated that sometime after 10:30 p.m. the water trucks went to the site to wet the area, but a fire broke out sometime after 3:00 a.m. Mr. Solomon said the waste trucks were able to put out the blaze but that there are pockets of fire emerging as well as continued smoke.
“As a result, residents in and around the area may experience intermittent smoke and ashes. Persons with respiratory conditions who live or are visiting the area are asked to take the necessary health precautions,” the Director cautioned.
Mr. Solomon thanked the management and staff of the water trucks for their efforts in identifying, controlling and extinguishing the fires. “We continue to review our disposal processes at all our sites and the necessary investigation into this fire will be conducted to strengthen our fire mitigation procedures. We are asking the community to alert us if they see any hazardous, flammable or combustible material at any of our landfill sites.”
The community is invited to contact the Department of Waste Management at 468-4934 to learn more about proper handling of flammables as everyone must work together towards a cleaner and greener Virgin Islands.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health and well-being of the people of the Virgin Islands.