Health officials have conducted assessments at the Vieux Fort Landfill and surrounding areas to ensure the safety of residents following confirmation that the tyre fire at the landfill was completely extinguished.
The Environmental Health Department has demonstrated its level of commitment to minimize the impact of any dangers generated during or as a result of the fire.
On Sunday, August 24 , 2013, the Saint Lucia Fire Services reported to the landfill where it was met with a raging blaze. Southern Divisional Officer of the Saint Lucia Fire Service, Joseph Joseph highlighted the aggressive attack efforts implored to safely and responsibly extinguish the fire.
He explained, “Upon our arrival, the fire was too intensive to make an intervention, so we adopted this approach where we had to allow it to sort of simmer down, and on Thursday we got the assistance of heavy equipment along with other agencies to first tackle the fire. By Friday, our operations went into full stream and we were able to deal with the situation by 6 pm that same day.”
Nursing Director at the St. Jude’s Hospital, Verna Charles, provided a patient assessment report of respiratory distress in the aftermath of the fire, saying: “For the past week, from Sunday to present time, we have not seen an increase in any respiratory problems. As a matter of fact, from our weekly reports, we have actually seen a decline in the number of persons coming in with respiratory problems.”
While the situation at the Vieux-Fort landfill has been contained, the government wants to assure residents that the area does not pose a health threat.
Schools in the vicinity of the fire, namely Vieux-Fort Comprehensive Secondary School Campus B, the Plain View Combined School and preschools, resumed classes on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.