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Landfill Fires Disrupt Business as Usual

Local News 09 Mar, 2020 Follow News

Landfill Fires Disrupt Business as Usual

After a spectacle of smoke bellowing from a raging inferno at the George Town Landfill on Sunday, 8th March, the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) say they are seeing some success in battling the fire from their application of a specialized fire retardant.

Crews tackled the fire from two angles, which included the the Esterley Tibbetts Highway side of the landfill and the Camana Bay portion of the area; base on the risk, according to officials.

In addition to roads along the bypass to West Bay and coming from Camana Bay to George Town were closed and residents evacuated from areas most likely to be affected.

Officials described this latest flare up of fires at the dump as, “a well developed waste fire”.

Roughly twenty seven fire officers, plus a team from the Department of Environmental Health responded to the incident, which officials say was caused because, strong, variable winds create challenging conditions; exasperating the situation.

An update on the landfill fires on Monday 9th March noted that both the CIFs and DEH responders remain on site at the George Town Landfill, where crews are continuing to work ‘systematically’ on containing the fires.

“Weather conditions remain challenging at this time and the crew’s priority are, containing the fire, as well s striving to make sure it doe not spread to the Esterley Tibet's Highway and Camana Bay Areas.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police (RCIPS) also remain on site.

The Esterley Tibet's Highway between Camana Bay and the Butterfield roundabout will remain closed on Monday 9th March, as a precautionary measure. These closures will be reassessed at mid-day, according to official sources.

The Civil Service will also operate a relaxed attendance policy on Monday, 9th March for parents with children attending schools, which have been closed due to the landfill fire.

Schools experiencing closures currently include Cayman International School, George Town Primary School, John Gray School and CIFEC.

A government release issue to the press earlier stated, “Civil Servants who are parents affected by the school closures should contact their managers in the normal way to report any resulting absences.”

All Civil Servants are encouraged to monitor updates issued by the Government Information Services.

As a precaution, the Elections Offices will also be closed until further notice, due to high levels of smoke carried by winds from the landfill fires.

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