National emergency planning meeting follows landfill fire

smoke1Officials of The National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) met in response to a fire which occurred at the Fond Cole landfill on Friday and fire officials say they continue to investigate the cause.

The fire, which occurred at about 12.50 pm, produced a large amount of smoke and fumes into the surrounding area, including the Woodbridge Bay port, causing a cruise ship which was berthed there, to hasten its departure from the island.

Chief Fire Officer Josiah Dupuis said at the time that the fire department responded with all available assets “to a fire that we are very concerned about because of the nature of what is burning.”

The Fire and Ambulance Services Division said in a release issued late Friday evening, that a National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) Sub-committee meeting chaired by the Minister for Justice Immigration and National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore, was convened “to assess the situation and to determine the course of action to ensure the safety of the public and residents in the immediate environs.”

The release adds that the “various response agencies were alerted and (they) responded” but does not provide details of the course of action which may have been discussed at the meeting.

The Ministry of Health had earlier issued an advisory asking people with respiratory conditions  to stay away from the area of the landfill in order to avoid inhaling the smoke fumes. Asthmatics affected by inhalation of the smoke, were  advised to use their prescribed inhalers and if the symptoms worsened, to report to the Princess Margaret Hospital for an assessment and further medical attention.

The ministry of health advisory also asked those suffering from other respiratory illnesses “with worsening symptoms as a result of the smoke fumes” to report immediately to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Princess, Margaret Hospital.

Members of the public with “no business there,” have been asked to stay away from the landfill and residents in the immediate vicinity have been told to keep monitoring the media for more information.

The Fire Department says it “will continue to  monitor and  manage the situation” while an investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

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  1. Cerberus
    March 16, 2015

    I have long advocated that the landfill site should be relocated to the disused quarry, between the highway and the sea, at Point Ronde. There are no people living in the immediate viscinity and any harmful smoke, smell or dust would blow away directly over the sea in a S.W. direction. The site could be screened by planting appropriate foliage along the highway.

  2. Jay
    March 16, 2015

    Sadly, this is deja-vu. In Sept. 2009, there was a case of willful burning of tyres at the landfill site, when mr. Scotland was the general Manager of DSWM and now heads the govt.public heath dept.
    He was chided at the time by the late Minister John Fabien, who took immediate action to cease this unsound practice. Haven’t we learned anything since?
    See also: to hear/see mr. Fabien’s address.

    • Clearinginup
      March 16, 2015

      Just to clear up some things the Envrionmental Health Dept does not manage the landfill. It is done by the GM of the DSWMC and his team. Right now the GM is Mr. Mitchel. There is also a woman who is specifically in charge of the landfill. She is the landfill Manager, a Mc Lawrence. So after you have a whole company for solid waste, EHD still has to be on the landfill 24/7?

      • Titiwi
        March 17, 2015

        Macoucherie have customs officer, a bonded warehouse has a customs officer to make sure people don’t cheat. It is not the first time we have fire at the landfill so unfortunately the answer is yes because it is obvious that rules get broken without supervision. What is the purpose of having a public health dept. if not to make sure that people comply?

  3. Fedup
    March 16, 2015

    The current landfill is not in a good location and there should be a conserted effort to locate a new site/s, although I know this might not be a very easy task

  4. grell
    March 16, 2015

    No leadership in this corrupt country,this is cancer causing fumes that the citizens are breathing.SAD STATE.

  5. lol
    March 15, 2015

    Is there a HAZMAT section at Fire Service

    March 15, 2015

    what happen their

  7. John paul
    March 15, 2015

    Is anyone calling for heads to roll at Solid Waste? Mr.badwill take off your baa bou chette free yourself from mental slavery reinstate mr.Jones and call for heads to roll at solid waste or else have some dignity and pride and resign your position.
    Mr.Minister of Justice we want an investigation because our lungs are hurting and we want the per erbium head of those responsible for that fire on a perverbial plate.

    • The Facts
      March 15, 2015

      Could you not have worded this in a different manner as a diplomatic one? If you are serious and want action, this should be the correct approach.

  8. Papa Dom
    March 15, 2015

    They asking people to stay away but I hope the firefighters they sending to attend to this have the correct equipment.

    • The Facts
      March 15, 2015

      Even though this fire is a huge one, is it the first time D/ca has had a fire? Being fire fighters, do you not think they have the proper equipment? If not, then the fire station should be shut down. i do think they are well-equipped considering that the fire is almost put out.

  9. Shaka zulu
    March 14, 2015

    If there was no venting method for methane gas such fire is quite possible over time and it does not take much to get t it going. The first thing I would look at is landfill design and secondly inventory of waste disposed and how long. Knowing Dominica this may be a task.

    • Getyourfacts
      March 15, 2015

      There are venting pipes. The fire was localized. Please get your facts before trying to sound like the worlds greatest engineer.

  10. Sams Gutter
    March 14, 2015

    Is the fire contained or is it extinguished? Please advise.

    Admin: According to fire officials, it is being managed.

  11. HELL with politic
    March 14, 2015

    Blame skerit for that too because he should have been there to stop the fire.

    • TELE
      March 15, 2015

      You really need too grow up & im gonna pray for you;

    • show time
      March 16, 2015

      YOU will repeate that sentence every day for the next five years :lol:

  12. Rockrr
    March 14, 2015

    Thats the only time a national emergency meeting will be called brcause of a landfil fire.Dominica is the best island. Severly backward small island state.

    • The Facts
      March 15, 2015

      A national emergency meeting was called to discuss this issue, its progress and what could have ignited this fire. It makes good sense. They appear to have handled it very well.

  13. Ti Shikah
    March 14, 2015

    I know this has no bearing on the above article but I think it makes for very interesting reading. I came across this article while reading MSN money. It is entitled ” Passport King helps poor nations turn citizenship into resource” Please read and become wise.
    Thanks for allowing me to deviate from the topic. It’s not my usual style but I thought it was necessary.

    • The Facts
      March 15, 2015

      To a certain extent maybe they should mind their own business. Whoever thought there was poverty and worst than you could ever fathom, in a progressive country?
      The governments of those countries are laying off staff. They who speak of employment are laying them off into unemployment status. The situation is much worst than you could ever fathom.
      This weekend, thousands of people in different parts of Ontario were without electricity. In fact, tonight a few still do not have power. Many hydro polls caught fire. Hydro stated that it is due to salt which was used to melt the snow. Really?
      Two weeks ago many more people had no electricity. Mine went out for a few minutes, thank God. Some did not have electricity for a few days. This was attributed to freezing rain. We did not really have a storm. So much for those people in progressive countries who criticize smaller countries.
      If I remember, probably tomorrow, I will read MSN money to learn what they stated.

  14. Truth be Told
    March 14, 2015

    A relocation of this landfill is long overdue!

    • Malgraysa
      March 16, 2015

      Relocation is not the answer if we do not institute best practices. We don’t even educate our people about the dangers to health when setting fire to household waste in their backyards, even less bush fires that generate toxins also. Do we have a public health dept. or not? Are public servants not held to account?

  15. Efficatious
    March 14, 2015

    A fire started in Mari-got followed by bus strike to cover up! The people in the street will never do such because they beg for a dollar therefore, investigation has to start from the very top with no stones upturned.Fire does not kill people is the smoke that kills. In circumstances as such everyone is a suspect until the contrary is proved. The boat in the Barbour and you want attention to distract them what do you do? In war you use any available weapon.

  16. Watsonminus Crick
    March 14, 2015

    First it was discarded codfish unearthed and sold to” Chadel Mourires” now we have a fire UNO and the authorities have no clue how to deal with the possible side effects. What next?
    carnival lines had pulled out for some time. Did they resume cruises?
    news travels quickly and every part of this industry knows about the fire and pollution in DA.

    • A Doubting Thomas
      March 15, 2015

      If the UWP hopes to lead the country one day; the leaders should advise their supporters do make it seem that they are so happy when it seems we may have a problem in the country big or small. I would be really afraid for the country to be lead by the UWP in the near future as we are right now and how the non-supporters of the government reacts to situations on island.

      You would swear the people who do not support the government do not have a stake in the country’s well being. They sound like they cannot wait for something terrible to happen. And it makes their day when they hear all is not well. Dear Lord, Help Us All and Forgive them, for they know not what they do and say.

      • Titiwi
        March 16, 2015

        Thomas my friend, your mind is perverted. Cancer does not chose between believer or unbeliever, christian or jew, neither labour party- or UWP supporter in Dominica. We are ALL victims of this gross mismanagement, whether you care to vote or not.

    • The Facts
      March 15, 2015

      Did you hear them state that they cannot deal with the side effects? Imagining things again?
      Give them breathing space, air and time. They who are the authorities, allow them the opportunity to decide what could be done.

  17. winston warrington
    March 14, 2015

    There is no need for an investigation. Landfills are prone to spontaneous combustion and are never located close to residential or business centers. There is need to provide 24 hour monitoring in order to mitigate what is bound to occur.

    • Tjebe fort
      March 15, 2015

      Winston, you are Alice in Wonderland. Even if it was spontaneous combustion it was definitely tires burning in that place and they should not be there in the first place to catch fire so.

    • The Facts
      March 15, 2015

      They are fortunate it is a landfill fire and it is not the real fire and brimstones to purge D/ca from some evil people, including those who call others evil and corrupt, for they too are evil for calling others such names.

  18. Love All
    March 14, 2015

    Fire in garbage is not new to Dominica remember the days when our garbage dump was at FondCole.
    When it was on fire vehicle drivers could not see where they were going because of smoke and had to pass through that thick smoke . St. JOE had a dump on both entrances of the village.

    • The Facts
      March 15, 2015

      And no one complained and criticized as they do today. Did anyone get sick then? People were patient in those days. I do think the Internet and computers bring out the worst in people and worst complainers and critics. They inflate everything and make them look much worst than they are. I also think those fingers on the keyboard could be dangerous tools and of the mind. So much for modern-day era and progress.

  19. jennifer-Anne Fadell
    March 14, 2015

    report to the a and e at princess margaret hospital? smoke blowing right in the hospital. I hope the health minister and environmen minister give whoever responsible a sank touche.

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