Bush fire ignites waste oil ponds

Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 06:15

Of­fi­cers of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Au­thor­i­ty are con­tin­u­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­to Tues­day’s fire which razed part of a re­me­di­a­tion site owned by Earth Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed.

In an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the EMA Hay­den Ro­mano said the fire caused con­sid­er­able dam­age to the area. He added that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on to de­ter­mine whether there was any breach of en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions.

Not­ing that the area was not a land­fill site, Ro­mano ex­plained: “It is a re­me­di­a­tion site.

“There are a num­ber of ponds where they re­me­di­ate waste oil and oth­er pe­tro­le­um prod­ucts, it ap­pears a bush fire start­ed in the area and some of the ponds got lit.

The fire ser­vices are con­tin­u­ing to have it un­der con­trol.” 

He added: “We are go­ing to con­tin­ue the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to see what was the cause of the fire, whether it was a bush fire and if there was any breach of any en­vi­ron­men­tal laws or re­quire­ments.

We don’t have enough in­for­ma­tion to make a pro­nounce­ment on the cause at this time.”

With re­gard to an in­creased preva­lence of bush fires, Ro­mano said peo­ple must play their part to pre­vent fires.

“All of us have to get in­volved. These fires are not spon­ta­neous com­bus­tion.

“It is caused by peo­ple in­ad­ver­tent­ly throw­ing out cig­a­rette butts or burn­ing garbage which gets out of con­trol,” Ro­mano said.

He warned cit­i­zens to be mind­ful of bush fires.

“We must be re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens. We are in a dry sea­son and these fires catch very quick­ly.”

Mean­while, class­es were dis­rupt­ed at Ves­signy High School be­cause of an­oth­er bush fire.

A school of­fi­cial said the smoke was so bad that stu­dents be­gan com­plain­ing of breath­ing prob­lems.

Class­es were dis­missed at noon.

Reporter: Radhica De Silva