Fire at Saba’s landfill causes airport closure

Heavy smoke billowing from a fire at Saba’s sanitary landfill in Fort Bay on Tuesday morning.

 SABA–A fire at the sanitary landfill at Fort Bay caused a huge amount of smoke on Tuesday morning. Emergency services were at the place of the incident for hours working to get the fire under control. Members of the Fire Department the help of Public Works and equipment of private contractors worked hard to contain the fire.

  During the incident, heavy smoke dispersed and spread to the neighbouring villages of St. John’s and The Bottom.

  All available personnel of the Saba branch of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department were required to tend to the fire. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport had to be closed as the airport fire truck also assisted in combating the landfill fire and legally there can be no air traffic without the Fire Department’s presence at the Airport.

  The Police Department blocked the road leading towards the landfill; via Government Information Service (GIS) the Public Entity advised the public to not visit the vicinity until further notice, as there was very heavy black smoke in the area. The notice was also issued via the social media at approximately 9:45am.

  As the wind was shifting directions and the smoke moved more towards The Bottom and St. John’s, residents and businesses were advised to close all windows as a precautionary measure in order to keep the smoke out. As there were periods of heavy smoke in both villages, the Public Entity strongly advised persons to remain indoors to reduce the possibility of smoke inhalation.

  At approximately noon the Fire Department gained control of the fire and the heavy smoke began to dissipate. By 2:30pm, it was decided to let the rest of the fire burn out in a controlled manner, with various authorities keeping a close eye on the controlled burn.As a consequence the smoke diminished and the Airport reopened later in the afternoon.

  The cause of the fire is not yet known. The Fire Department is still investigating, GIS and Government Service Caribbean Netherlands (RCN) said in a joint statement.

Emergency services working to get the fire under control.

Source: The Daily Herald