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Sep 2, 2019

Bushfires near dumpsite is contained

Kenneth Mortis

The personnel at the National Fire Service were very busy last week tackling bush fires that erupted almost all over the city. Station Supervisor at the National Fire Service Kenneth Mortis told us that all fires required excessive man power and coordinated efforts to control. As the department contained one fire to the next, their biggest focus was on the fires near and around the old dumpsite which sent thick smoke over residential areas in Southside Belize City. Mortis says this one took days to bring under control.

 

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service 

“We then turned our attention to the garbage dump which also had a massive bushfire which was a threat starting from the Faber’s Road Extension that lead along the path towards the dump. That effort was executed with the operations from the National Fire Service. We had CISCO who assisted with two larger water dowsers. We had the city council which assisted with a three thousand gall on capacity water bowers as well and the excavating project was conducted by Nemar out of Orange Walk. That went on for about six to eight days maybe. It was gruelling, tiresome but we are trying our best to contain all fires across the country.”

 

Dalila Ical

“You had mentioned that it’s a situation that requires continued monitoring?”

 

Kenneth Mortis

“Yes, yes. We cannot go to sleep on that. For those who know the dump and have experience with the dump that is years and years and years of garbage that is on top of each other so the fireworks itself from underneath and then it expose itself at the top. When that happens then that is when we have to go into full mode. So what we do or what we are currently doing is we are taking hourly checks, or maybe every two hours we go out there and check to make sure everything looks good. The minute we see something that looks out of the ordinary then we jump into our fire fighting techniques right away. We don’t ‘want to experience what we did maybe thirteen years ago when the city was covered in smoke maybe sixteen days. We don’t want to go through that again. My fire men they go at the dump, they leave the dump, they look like dump, they smell like dump but this is the job we do and we will just keep on doing it until further notice.”

 

The fire was officially contained Saturday evening after six o’clock. The department also tackled two more bushfires over the weekend, one at the Jane Usher Boulevard area and another at the Caesar Ridge area. The National Fire Service warns that lighting fires within cities and towns is an illegal act and persons can be charged. It also encourages the public to be careful when lighting fires in areas where it is allowed. 


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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