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Fire officers contain massive bush fire in Challwell Estate

- millions of dollars in damages prevented
Part of the area razed by the bush fire at Challwell Estate today, January 19, 2017. Photo: Team of Reporters
Fire officers were able to prevent the some three houses that were threatened by the massive bush fire at Chalwell Estate. Photo: Khari Adams
Fire officers were able to prevent the some three houses that were threatened by the massive bush fire at Chalwell Estate. Photo: Khari Adams
Fire officers were praised for their quick and strategic response in containing the blaze at Chalwell Estate. Photo: Photo: Team of Reporters
Fire officers were praised for their quick and strategic response in containing the blaze at Chalwell Estate. Photo: Photo: Team of Reporters
Following the bush fire at Chalwell Estate that could have done severe damage to property in the area, Chief Fire Officer Zebalon A. McLean has urged members of the public to take their trash to the incinerator rather than burn them. 'Do not leave any kinds of fires unattended.' Photo: VINO/File
Following the bush fire at Chalwell Estate that could have done severe damage to property in the area, Chief Fire Officer Zebalon A. McLean has urged members of the public to take their trash to the incinerator rather than burn them. 'Do not leave any kinds of fires unattended.' Photo: VINO/File
Fire officers cut off the fire from affecting this nearby building. Photo: Team of Reporters
Fire officers cut off the fire from affecting this nearby building. Photo: Team of Reporters
CHALWELL ESTATE, Tortola, VI- A bush fire that could have potentially razed houses, carrying millions of dollars up in smoke, was eventually contained by the quick work of a group of fire officers in Chalwell Estate, on the main island of Tortola, today, January 19, 2017.

According to reports reaching this news site, fate would have it that fire officers were in the vicinity at the time the fire was reported and rushed to the scene to prevent the fire from destroying at least three apartment buildings.

Chief Fire Officer Zebalon A. McLean confirmed the reports to this news site, stating that his men had received a call about a garbage fire at Rudy’s Bar in Meyer’s Estate around 10:00A.M. However, shortly after the fire was extinguished the fire department received a call about a massive bush fire at Chalwell Estate.

"In all, 14 fire officers were on the scene. They prevented any damage to the three houses at risk,” Mr McLean stated, adding that the fire officers saved millions of dollars in potential losses.

Excellent job boys!

Meanwhile, Mr McLean was loud in praise of his men, who acted quickly and strategically to contain the blaze.

“My congratulations to the fire officers for an excellent job. My sincere thanks to the members of the public who called.”

The Fire Chief, however, had a firm message to the public about burning garbage. “Take trash to the incinerator. Do not leave any kinds of fires unattended.”

Control Burning Policy

It was only on January 4, 2017 that this news site reported Mr McLean saying that a draft form of the Control Burning Policy for the territory is currently being worked on, as well as the revising and updating of the Fire Service Act.

“We are hoping to get something in place by at least the middle of next year (2017),” the CFO said in an exclusive interview with this news site on December 31, 2016. He stated that while the degree of penalties is still being discussed, the policy aims to discourage the sometimes detrimental effect that smoke from burning could have on an individual’s life.

No present penalty

“Right now there is no penalty for persons who don’t care how it affects somebody else. If you give someone a warning, and they still go ahead and burn, there is no recourse to take aside from putting it out. It would be a lot more convenient because instead of us having to respond to the same area, at least it would allow persons to be mindful of the effect that it is having and take other measures now to get rid of the bush,” Mr McLean had explained.

“The controlled burning policy addresses a very real danger that our people are facing; if you have a plot of land, and you burn stuff on your land, you have all rights to do that, but what you must understand, anything that leaves your land and affects someone else you are responsible for. Your argument would be well the fire is on my land, yes but if the smoke affects someone else outside your perimeter, you are still responsible for that.”

10 Responses to “Fire officers contain massive bush fire in Challwell Estate”

  • CLAP CLAP CLAP (19/01/2017, 19:59) Like (37) Dislike (2) Reply
    thank god these guys are committed despite the lack of resources
  • Awesome (19/01/2017, 21:09) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Excellent job guys!
  • Guest (19/01/2017, 21:20) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    These damn old-timish a$$ people always burning, burning...Them sickening.....
  • hello (20/01/2017, 05:13) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Two fires in such close proximity....it seem rather questionable. We want to be sure they weren't deliberate. Lots of copy cats and trouble makers around.
    Hope i'm wrong.
  • bywater (20/01/2017, 08:27) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayo see why we must have water turned on 24/7?
  • Kim (20/01/2017, 10:00) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Our officers did well I hope they got food water and milk great job guys Mr.McLean you are training them well
  • Bandit (20/01/2017, 11:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The owners of those houses are truly lucky.... That's a good thing that the fire never destroyed any homes.
  • Bandit (20/01/2017, 11:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The owners of those houses are truly lucky.... That's a good thing that the fire never destroyed any homes.
  • voice (20/01/2017, 18:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    One of the things that fed many families in this territory was coal pit burning. The others were farming and fishing. Is globalization going to destroy all the things that helped this country? Are we ashamed of our heritage?


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