#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, April 11, 2018 – The wind is shifting and that could mean bad news for resorts and residential communities flanking the TCEM-managed, Providenciales landfill. At this hour, plumes of smoke continue to billow from a raging fire at the site and a media statement from the company explains that the blaze was somehow ignited in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
“On Wednesday, April 11th at approximately 1 a.m., a fire was started at the Providenciales Landfill by an unknown source. The landfill operator – TCEM — identified the issue and responded quickly, but due to the late hour and the way the fire commenced, the fire did spread to a limited degree before it could be dampened, and it has produced visible smoke.”
It was explained to Magnetic Media that the fire is not thought to have been sparked by arson though.
In a government statement about the vexing blaze, the Environmental Health Department Director, Kenrick Neely shared that, “The Environmental Health Department immediately contacted the Domestic Fire Department for assistance in getting the fire under control. The Fire Department was able to bring the fire under control by 6:00 a.m. With that said, Environmental Health Department will continue to monitor the situation and ensure that the Contractor implement measures to prevent/limit the occurrence of fires at both landfill sites.” Adding that, “The Environmental Health Department would like to thank the Fire Department for their quick response and for getting the fire under control.”
For now, the homes of both Belglade Parker Gardens and Millennium Heights and the two resorts – North West Point Resort and Amanyara are spared the often nauseous and likely toxic fumes and smoke. The fire is visible and work continues even late today into extinguishing the blaze.
“TCEM personnel, with the assistance of the TCI fire service, is working exhaustively to address the situation and is confident that it will be promptly extinguished., though smoke may continue to be visible for some period as the hot areas cools. TCEM staff is trained in landfill fire management and mitigation, and response protocols are in place.”
Turks and Caicos Environmental Management is convinced that someone set this fire and agree to do more to stop these reoccurring event which sometimes engulfs surrounding communities, presenting inconveniencing and unhealthy conditions for thousands of residents in the Wheeland District.
“Though fires are a normal hazard at landfills of this nature, at the request of the Environmental Health Department, the operator will continue to implement additional security and fire mitigation measures and redundancies to forestall future incidents. Investigations have commenced and are ongoing with the Police and Fire Departments.”
Fires at the dump have been off and on occurrences now for 10 years.