An aerial view of officials fighting the blaze at the Mangrove Landfill, today. (Photo courtesy of the Barbados Fire Service)

The fire at Phase 1 of the Mangrove Landfill in St. Thomas that broke out just after 6:00 a.m. today is now under control.

Officials from the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) will remain on the scene and continue to monitor the situation until the fire is extinguished.

According to Divisional Officer, Errol Gaskin of the Northern Command, “the BFS is satisfied that the threat posed by the burning at Mangrove has been minimized by the actions of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) in conjunction with the supporting agencies and businesses”.

He added that the ongoing efforts of the SSA, headed by its Assistant Engineer, will completely extinguish the fire.

Meanwhile, Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, indicated that regular checks continue to be conducted for smoke impact, particularly among the Arch Hall, Rock Hall and Bennetts communities, downwind of the fire.

She explained that officials at the SSA had enlisted assistance from C.O.Williams, Jose Y Jose and the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre to dump loads of dirt on the fire to smother the flames.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised persons with asthma or other respiratory illnesses to leave the surrounding areas until conditions improve. Persons who are feeling unwell are also advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The Accident and Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and other health agencies have been placed on stand-by to receive persons from the immediate surrounding area, should they experience any respiratory distress as a result of the fire.

In addition, the Ministry of Education, and the Transport Board, are also on standby in the event that shelters have to be opened or there is a need for evacuation of persons.

Emergency responders to the fire, included the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Barbados Defence Force, the BFS, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the SSA, the District Emergency Organizations, the Roving Response Team and the DEM.

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