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May 7, 2012

Fire burns a million dollars in logwood business

A fire that was started to clear a plot of land on the Western Highway has resulted in major losses to a nearby company. The manager of the Pine Lumber Company got the news on Saturday afternoon that a bush fire near his log yard was out of control and spreading quickly. A combination of heat, strong winds and dried logs made it a tough task to contain the blaze, which continued into Sunday afternoon. News Five’s Delahnie Bain headed west today to find heaps of ashes where hundreds of logs once stood.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Ashes and logs were still smoldering today after a massive inferno on Saturday, devastated a logwood company on the Western Highway in Georgeville.  Amin Bedran, the manager of the Pine Lumber Company, says the fire was lit in an adjacent lot, when heavy winds allowed it to spread quickly.

 

Amin Bedran

Amin Bedran, Manager, Pine Lumber Company Limited

“I got a call about two-thirty Saturday afternoon and came out to see a fire burning on the east of our property. Obviously somebody was burning their property—they had chopped it earlier in the day and decided to burn in the middle of the day in May with wah heavy easterly blowing. That property sits on the eastern side of our log yard even with us having a big fire break between our property and the log yard, there was no way we could contain it. As you guys can see what the flames have done to the trees behind us.”

 

The singed palm on this Cohune Tree indicates how high the flames rose as the Pine Lumber log yard was completely engulfed. Luckily, the fire was contained and kept from spreading to nearby buildings.

 

Amin Bedran

“In the beginning we were trying to see how much logs we could at least contain. It got so bad that we diverted from trying to save any of the logs in the log yard but trying to save our sawmill. So to answer your question we were here until nine, ten o’clock on Saturday night; that’s when it kinda died down. We had quite a bit of help from the Fire Department in San Ignacio, the guys in Spanish Lookout and my good friend Snooty Fox from San Ignacio and a lot of other people that came over to help.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And it continued to smolder on Sunday?”

 

Amin Bedran

“Yes, as the wind picked up on Sunday morning and it got hotter, we had to be out here with water trucks and we had to continue containing. Most of my equipment was up in the Pine Ridge, we had to move it down early Sunday morning to be working out here to contain this fire.”

 

The destroyed logs included Timber, Nargosta and Rosewood; it’s a loss estimated at almost a million dollars.

 

Amin Bedran

“Ninety percent of our logs in our yard; as you can see it’s a big log yard and you can see ashes and smoke all around you except for some little pine trees behind us that—so we lost quite a bit, all of our logs that were piled up over the dry season.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“Any idea as to the value?”

 

Amin Bedran

“It would be difficult to say, I don’t know eight hundred thousand to a million dollars.”

 

According to Bedran, the disaster could have been avoided if they were forewarned that the cleared lot would have been burnt.

 

Amin Bedran

“How could you burn a lot in the east of us looking at all of these logs with the wind coming in this direction and all these buildings and if they needed to have done that, if we were told we would have been out here with our water trucks and our equipment if he had to burn or if we were called.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And you don’t know who the person is from the next lot?”

 

Amin Bedran

“No, I don’t know. The neighbors say it was some Spanish guy and after he lit it and he realized it was out of control he just ran off.”

 

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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3 Responses for “Fire burns a million dollars in logwood business”

  1. cg says:

    and this will happen again because we don’t use the laws on burning to fine these people and their ridiculous burning of bushes. even in the residential areas you can’t open a window cause all you smell is smoke….find out who it is and charge them!

  2. alley cat says:

    the milpa system was here before us…

  3. subKonshus says:

    It does not matter if its a plantation or a house lot you are burning. There are techniques used for burning. If you don’t know, then ask somebody. Especially if its a house lot, there is no way it should get out of control if you know what you are doing. For starters, don’t burn when a high wind is blowing unless you got a hose or spray tank with lots of water. Secondly, if the wind is blowing on you plot of land from in the direction of point A to B, then start burning from point B going backwards to point A. You do this in case the fire gets wild, it will run into the area that is already burnt and won’t burn anything that should not get burnt, like a million dollars worth of pine lumber!

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