BVI News

Still burning | Multiple agencies merge to out fire

This photograph of the fire that started on Wednesday evening, May 9, was captured this morning, May 10.

After feverish efforts to put out the blaze that raged at the Cox Heath dump last evening, the fire is still burning.

However, head of the Department of Waste Management Greg Massicotte has assured that the fire has been contained.

The Department of Waste Management, the Fire and Rescue Department, and the Public Works Department are taking a multi-agency approach to out the blaze.

Massicotte said private contractors are also on standby.

“We have equipment that’s going to be stationed from every angle trying to isolate it so that there is no spreading. There is a lot of waste out there that is going to cause it to burn for a little while so we’re going to try our best to isolate it and smother it as much as possible,” Massicotte told BVI News this morning, May 10.

He said: “For added safety, we’re digging a trench around the affected area to help contain it. But even without that (the trench) it’s more or less contained”.

“Anytime you have a fire, once it’s lit it will be worrying no matter what but we are working to get it out as soon as possible,” the Waste Management boss added.

Authorities have not identified the cause of the fire but the matter is being investigated.

Massicotte said any number of factors could have caused the blaze.

It could have been worse

Massicotte further said the fire could have been considerably worse if residential and commercial waste were being dumped at Cox Heath.

“Thank God it’s mainly only construction waste going to that site so it was much easier to burn out.”

Mountains of debris from the last September’s hurricanes continue to be piled at the dump.

Massicotte said Waste Management will have to re-evaluate how to clear the dump; given the fire that continues to burn in the area.

In the meantime, authorities have ordered the Cox Heath dump site closed.  Residents are advised to channel all waste to the incinerator.


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  1. Mmmkay says:

    I am almost certain that this was done on purpose by the Government so that it would be easier to get rid of the waste before the hurricane season. The UN actually offered to take all this waste away from the island, free of any charges or fees and the BVI Government refused for only God knows what reasons.

  2. Bystander says:

    I saw we might get assistance from USVI to assess and control this fire, from the DDM website. If we do, I hope they get their temporary work permits quickly. We don’t want a load of foreigners coming in and telling us what to do, without the proper controls in place.

    • yep says:

      Exactly..Yep, those Americans coming to take the land! Don’t let them in! BVI would do itself a huge favor to take help and welcome the amount of knowledge that is right here in the islands offered by expats. But No.. too proud. we can do it our self. Well, several instances of that attitude beginning with the flood and where do that get you.

    • Honestly says:

      One need only to compare the status of the recovery efforts in the two locations to see the leadership challenges that we face. USVI has benefitted greatly from armies of church and community service volunteers flying in to lend a hand. Even if ta group of volunteers could get a work permit to help us here they probably couldn’t afford the staggering entry fees!

  3. Morenga says:

    Why not cut off the sections hat aren’t burning (yet) by creating a berm or utilize bulldozers and excavators to place dirt/sand on the fire? The amount of carcinogens and heavy metals polluting that area and the surrounding neighborhoods will cause advers health risks (cancers) to the immediate residents. The tiny single pump that was trying to douse the flames was/is inadequately undersized for the task.

    What is the Minister responsible for this portfolio saying/doing? Nada it is apparent!

  4. What!! says:

    All the toxins goong to be deposited on our roof and washed into our cisterns

  5. Fluffy says:

    Just a question.can sand be used to help with slowing the fire or even outing the fire.(

  6. Me says:

    where is the like or dislike bottom????

  7. Chokingvictim says:

    The UN came to take it all away for free, but the clever BVI government said no!! “ we don’t need a bunch of first world educated s*^%%s telling us how to deal with our garbage, we have been burning it for years so geh from heh!

  8. Eartha says:

    The BVI is a place of chronic disgruntled dissastified complaining whining ungrateful do it my way wanna be in control wypipo and other foreigners who have willingly and voluntarily installed themselves as pariahs in a once peaceful happy and crimefree earthly paradise.
    Irma stepped in to clean house but did not do a good enough job.
    This latest incident may help with further purging.
    The Universe is simply giving what they want.Something to complain,whine and criticize.
    Change your attitude you change your world folks.

    • Sheer Injustice says:

      Go stop the f#*king fire or be gone. That is all we want. WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO BREATHE..THAT IS ALL WE WANT. You just stay where you live and put on your AC and have several seats.

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