Weather assists fire crews

| 13/02/2014

(CNS): A switch in the wind direction and a little welcome rain all helped in the battle of the dump fire Thursday morning, when crews were able to work upwind of the smoke coming off the fire, which continues to blaze deep under the surface of Mount Trashmore. Weather conditions were in the fire fighters' favour and after battling throughout the night to keep the dump saturated, crews were able to control the blaze. Acting fire chief Rosworth McLaughlin explained that his men would spend Thursday attempting to penetrate beneath the surface and dampen the internal blaze. The crews are working in tandem with the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) to turn the rubbish and saturate deep inside the mountain of garbage.

Although the chief fire officer expected it would still take a few days to put the fire out, he was confident that with the prevailing winds his men would be able to tackle the fire much more safely and therefore contain the internal blaze until they could extinguish it. Having tapped into wells at the site, the fire fighters have a water source, and withmore than 20 men on site at Mount Trashmore round the clock and some ten pieces of equipment, the fire service is using all available resources.

With the smoke blowing away from George Town east across the North Sound, the picture from the deck of the five cruise ships in port Thursday wasa significant improvement on the image of Cayman left on the mind’s eye of some 14,000 visitors on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the fire serves as a stark reminder to government that it must act more quickly in its efforts to deal with the current dump and the future of waste-management on Grand Cayman as well as the Sister Islands.

Minister Osbourne Bodden has made it clear that it will be two years before a full waste-management programme is in place because government’s hands are tied by the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility agreement with the UK. However, Bodden is committed to finding the money to repair and replace excavators and other essential equipment at the dump so that the team there can better manage the landfill.

As a result of budget cuts, there has been no money for aggregate to mix in with the garbage to help compact and seal it in, making it more vulnerable to ignition and fires as intense as the one still burning. In addition, the equipment owned by the DEH is old and in need of repair and replacement, all of which has been hindering the staff’s ability to manage the tons of waste coming on to the site each day.

Earlier this morning Cayman international School was closed to students and CUC also closed its North Sound office due to the thick smoke that continued to come from the dump throughout the day.

A statement from government officials at 2pm said there was no imminent threat to any buildings or homes and the fire was well away from where the tyres are kept, which were not at risk of igniting. The government confirmed that fire crews will stay on site on a shift basis until the fire is totally extinguished, which is likely to take a few more days.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The sad and scary thing is that the CI Govt, through gross ineptitude, greed and mismanagement, have probably assisted in shortening the lives of 10000+ people by 10 to 20 years.

    Watch the cancer rates soar in the coming years because of this fire. 


  2. Anonymous says:

    Let it burn lol

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don't breathe in the smoke.  That smoke is incredibly toxic and inhaling even small amounts for short periods can shorten your life by ten years. Repeated exposure over days could kill you within a few years.  Stay away unless you're wearing an oxygen pack.

    • Anonymous says:

      All those idiotic, want-to-be politicians who cried out and fooled the BT people that the waste facility should not be put in BT, should be sued by anyone getting sick by the toxic foams from the burning of the dump.

      And we all know who they are!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can we have your links and facts to back this up? Or are you just another fear monger?

  4. Castor says:

    Procrastination about doing the RIGHT thing, deal with the dump…….. what a waste ofresources.

    • Anonymous says:

      But we need to put money into sports in the sister islands.  We cant be wasting money on cleaning up the environment when people on Cayman Brac are missing out on people kicking balls into nets.  Wake Up People!


  5. Anonymous says:

    Here is a profile of our new governor…–helen-kilpatrick–home-economics/ Can she solve the dump problem? Perhaps someone should ask her?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I say those $$$$ who are affected, cig should say we can’t afford it but we’re willing to work with those business/ $$$$ people etc & collect a donation! Gt voter

  7. Anonymous says:

    I say sell it to dart but not as fair market price but at the vaule it really worth with the medals & plastics etc! Gt voter

    • Anonymous says:

      wow, they have medals in there

    • Anonymous says:

      There are no medals left in the dump. McKeeva gave them all to his supporters at the last Heroes Day when he was Premier.

    • C'mon Now says:

      FMV = what something is really worth.  The dump is worthless egardles of th "medals (sic) & plastics etc.", and in fact you would need to pay someone to take the trash away or remediate the dump.  Dart would be getting compensated through the ability to complete the resdential areas of Camana Bay by building homes etc.  At this point many  thought the dump would be dealt with, but it is still a problem.  From Dart's view there can be no further development of most of Camana Bay's residential areas until the dump is sorted.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What they need to do is follow those $$$ people who wanted to cut fire staff & cig & make them go there with buckets of water to fight the fight they created=(wanting cig to downsize) lol

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, if we were to use our brain and start up a voluntary fire fighting crew. These would be ordinary folke that are already working and being paid.

      They have them  all over the civilized world.

  9. Anonymous says:

    People that work in the Industrial Estate are having to breathe the smoke. Its awful and is giving us a headache.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately it might give you more than an immediate headache. Few years down the road. You should not take  one single breath of that toxic coctail.