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Landfill fire @ Pockwood Pond annoys USVI residents

January 16th, 2018 | Tags: landfill fire garbage incinerator Greg R. Massicote
The landfill fire at Pockwood Pond, Tortola, raging this evening, January 16, 2018. Photo: VINO
A screenshot of the Facebook post by Mr Chuck Welsh. Photo: Facebook
A screenshot of the Facebook post by Mr Chuck Welsh. Photo: Facebook
Manager of the Department of Waste Management, Greg R. Massicote said the fire started at a landfill at Pockwood Pond, Tortola this evening, January 16, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
Manager of the Department of Waste Management, Greg R. Massicote said the fire started at a landfill at Pockwood Pond, Tortola this evening, January 16, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
POCKWOOD POND, Tortola, VI- A large landfill fire at Pockwood Pond, on the main island of Tortola, this evening, January 16, 2018 is causing much discomfort for persons in the area and as far as St Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

The fire was still burning up to the time of publication.

"If you are choking on battery acid and plastic fumes on the east end of St Thomas right now, this is why...some genius decided to light one of the Irma debris sites on Tortola on fire! I can't see St Thomas from West End and we can't breathe," a Mr Chuck Welsh posted on the Facebook page What's going on St Thomas.

"It just confirms how archaic the BVI is when dealing with their waste," part of a comment from Alex Pose stated.

Other persons from St Thomas also called our newsroom to enquire what was going on as they were being affected by the smoke.

No opening burning- Greg R. Massicote

But according to the Manager of Solid Waste Department, Mr Greg R. Massicote, the fire may have started with combustible materials exposed at the dump site that was created after the incinerator was affected by shortage of power after the hurricanes in September 2017 and then just around Christmas eve when the backup generator for the incinerator developed problems.

Mr Massicote assured that the Territory no longer engages in open burning ever since the new incinerator was acquired.

"What happened basically is that directly after Irma the incinerator was down for maybe a month and plus so we basically had to landfill garbage up on the hill, and also during the Christmas season, with the frequent power outages that were occuring during that time, our backup generator wasn't functioning.

Mr Massicote said a decision was made not to turn on the incinerator during that time the backup generator wasn't functioning until the part was sourced for it. During that time garbage was trucked to the landfill.

"From this evening we started to see spontaneous combustion and our guys were trying to contain it...Mr Massicote said, but noted that his men were unable to put the fire out.

The fire service was called in but, according to Mr Massicote, due to the terrain firefighters were unable to contain the fire.

"We really apologise to everyone who has been affected...We will be on it from the break of dawn," Mr Massicote assured.

26 Responses to “Landfill fire @ Pockwood Pond annoys USVI residents”

  • Yes (16/01/2018, 23:30) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Smoke em out
    • Reply (17/01/2018, 03:59) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      Bvi not looking good they better not up set Donald trump lol
      • Candi (17/01/2018, 11:44) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        Well Trump already calling every non American country "shit hole" so BVI just decided to burn their shit before they get called out.
  • Xxx (17/01/2018, 00:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well sah
  • mad news (17/01/2018, 00:59) Like (4) Dislike (20) Reply
    Telll dem white ppl we burn trash in the
  • See (17/01/2018, 01:06) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a pile of BS . Just cover your a _ _ .
  • rainbow (17/01/2018, 01:50) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Y'all BEEN burning outside. I see it EVERY evening on my way home to West End! It just REALLY got out of hand now!
  • Wendy (17/01/2018, 03:58) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Now what if the late o w Hodge was alive and home? see they would have killed the man again
  • wize up (17/01/2018, 04:01) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply

    administration have loads of money to spend to make the visitors happy and feel comfortable while basking in the BVI while the BVI resident and citizens suffer for lack running water, poor sewage treatment system, f*** up roads but millions goes building beaches just for a cruise ship person/ I am not against the enhancement spending but I know that charity begins at home...

  • dem love to talk (17/01/2018, 04:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    let it burn and burn all of it quickly that infestation problem is even worst than that smoke these people speak about clean environment and won't live right nonsense
  • Tracy (17/01/2018, 06:15) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Will they be paying my medical bills? Accident? My ass!
  • client (17/01/2018, 06:42) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Boy Massicote you inherited a mess. I know you a smart man but dis problem bigger than you I think you need to stick to civil engineering and leave government with dem mess
  • hello? (17/01/2018, 06:48) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Mr. Massicote...."spontaneous combustion?", give me a break!! Is this something like one of your guys scratching a match.?
  • Western End (17/01/2018, 07:53) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    All of the chemicals burning at this time can cause long term health problems ie. Cancer. Be assured that my health and my family's health is very important and any health issues that develops as a result of this trash burning will not be taken lightly.
  • Hmph (17/01/2018, 07:59) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
    Burn the trash, let them complain, set up a committe to investigate, keep burning and it will all be gone by the time the committee has its first sitting. The trash at Coxsheath also needs to burn.
  • what (17/01/2018, 08:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Has been said about this the recovery
    ...this needs addressing once and for all!
  • What the?! (17/01/2018, 09:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    No one was able to or capable of issuing any public health warnings to any residents in BVI or USVI who would be effected? No evacuations or emergency measures to protect elderly, babies or sick people with lung conditions? Just let it burn? Honestly - we put dangerous combustible stuff in a hole in the ground after Irma, in October we were sorted but in December we just started dumping dangerous waste again and we didn’t give a damn as to whether the fire brigade could deal with it because... WHY?!
  • Awol (17/01/2018, 09:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is our politicians on this?
  • pope popouri (17/01/2018, 23:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    so will this make pockwood area smell any worse? its a slumlords' haven.
  • ANNEBORG (17/01/2018, 23:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    St. Thomad dump does catch agire too. Goy to be them prople who thief land over Newfound Bay wbo are complaining. Tek that for troubling the ancextors land. No rrdting
  • Concerned (18/01/2018, 01:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Folks, these are extraordinary times, and many things have to be done in an unusual manner as we try to understand what's going on and get back to normal. Please be patient, God is in the midst of this whole experience, He knows the end from the beginning; as limited human beings, we can only speculate about what He is trying to tell all of us. So let's try to figure this thing out and stop bickering and blaming others.
  • The real Boo (18/01/2018, 05:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great article VINO, thanks for the investigative report....
  • west (19/01/2018, 21:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Annoys! Wow, wait until you have someone die of toxicity then see how annoyed the dump will be when they gave to pay out millions to the family

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