4 days later, fire still

Burning Haags Bosch landfill

– Fire Service unaware of situation

It has been four days since fire engulfed sections of the Haags Bosch Landfill Site, Eccles, East Bank Demerara and it is still out of control.

While heavy rains continued to assist the battle against the blaze, they were not enough to bring the fire under control, but the Landfill Site remains operational.

As of late Monday night when Guyana Times visited the site, a large fire could still be seen emanating from the compound and no one was at the entrance.

Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle told this newspaper that the Fire Service was “unaware of the situation as it had not been reported by residents or anyone”.

He noted that he could not provide “a technical comment”, but “some of the fire is due to the combustion process and the Fire Service cannot just turn up and put out the fire”. He added that some two weeks ago the Fire Service was able to bring another blaze at the landfill under control.

According to reports, the fire has posed constant trouble for residents in the area who have already complained of being affected by the thick smoke, which they said was most severe during the hours between 19:00h and 05:00h.

In addition to the smoke, it is clear that the stench is an additional problem. The stench, especially in the wet season that is ongoing, is “unbearable”, residents of Eccles said in describing the trying conditions.

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan had earlier informed this publication that the matter was being addressed. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had also indicated the matter was being investigated, but considerable time has passed and nothing significant has been done to contain the blaze.

Haags Bosch is no stranger to fires, igniting in December 2015 with residents having the same thick smoke and unbearable stench to deal with. That fire took in excess of three weeks to be completely extinguished.