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Cayman Islands Government
 

Fire at GT Landfilll

The Ministry of Health confirms that a small “surface” fire at the George Town Landfill was brought under control within an hour of being reported yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 1 March, 2015.

The Cayman Islands Fire Service Department (CIFS) received a report of the fire at 12:48 p.m. CIFS were on the scene by 12:54 p.m. and immediately started to fight the fire. Department of Environmental Health (DEH) personnel were also at the site to provide necessary assistance. The fire was quickly brought 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 incidents do occur. DEH is also expecting to have its excavators, as well as D8 and D6 bulldozers in operation soon to assist with improved waste management. An essential next step will be to apply soil cover materials over the compacted waste to further lessen and prevent fires.

The cause of Sunday’s fire is undetermined.

A team of fire officers and DEH staff remained on site overnight to monitor the situation and to contain potential hot spots, although there was no further incident. Operations will wind down today but monitoring will continue over the next several days.

Director of Environmental Health Roydell Carter says his staff has been using an excavator to turn over the hot waste, while water was added to extinguish and cool the waste.

"This was a surface fire that affected a small area in the landfill. 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," Mr Carter remarked. “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.”

The DEH Director adds that Sunday's situation showed the importance of having the right equipment operational - in this case the new 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.”

For further information contact: Yvette Cacho