Upsurge in bush fires stretching Fire Services resources

Fire Chief Everette O’Garro told that calls from residents for this type of fire risk is above the number for the same period in 2014. For the Basseterre area alone, he disclosed that there were more than 20 fires in recent weeks.

“Well, it is putting a strain on the limited resources that we have. For the past couple of weeks, we have responded to almost double the amount of bush-fires that we had for the same period last year,” explained Ogaro.

This intensity of responses has led to equipment breakdown and higher maintenance costs the chief explained.

“It has put a huge strain on our resources! For instance, we had a serious break down in one of our equipment because of the continuous work that we had to do with these fires. You are talking about replacing parts for a fire truck and that is pretty expensive, and we use a lot of water that comes from the Government’s resource during these fires. These fire engines and appliances use a lot of fuel,” he said.  

According to Fire Chief O’Garro, in some cases, individuals are clearing land and garbage and the fires got out of control and threatened residential areas.

“From investigations and observations, it is clear that several fires have been lit by individual persons.” O’Garro said, adding, “I would like to make an appeal to the general public to desist from lighting fires, regardless of what they have to do. Whether it is clearing a piece of land or getting rid of rubbish, we want to ask people not to light fires.”

O’Garro indicated, that they are working to educate persons on putting safety into practice so as to minimize such fires from happening around the island and minimize injuries.

Just recently, one house in the Shadwell area suffered major damage, as a result of a bush fire in the vicinity, the fire chief disclosed, noting that it is of grave concern to the Fire and Rescue Services.

“One of our major concerns is that they can eventually spread and do serious damage to people’s private property… That is the warning that we have tried to send out to people involved in lighting these careless fires, because they can spread and cause major damage,” O’Garro stated.

According to the fire chief, priority is given to calls on bush fires where residential or commercial interests may be at risk.


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