Fire Officer emphasizes caution following spate of bush fires

POSTED: 03/25/11 12:07 PM

St. Maarten – Three days of bush fires have led the Fire Department to restate their appeal that people should be careful about throwing lit cigarettes or other objects like glass bottles into the bushes. These types of incendiaries can create a major disaster in this period of drought as dry bush catches faster.

“Seeing as there is a drought/dry period people should be really careful with throwing out things like cigarettes that are still lit and other things that can cause a fire,” Officer on Duty Silvanico Pauletta said.

The first bush fire was on Hope Hill on Monday. A day later fire officers were called to the area near Gauna Bay on the opposite side of Hope Hill around 10:15 a.m. According to Pauletta the Monday and Tuesday fires “are not connected.” On Wednesday evening they were called to a bush fire at the end of Madrid Drive.

Two trucks were used to battle the fire near Guana Bay because of its size. While the officers were able to prevent the fire from getting to a house it was moving toward, they weren’t able to completely put it out. They then monitored the blaze, which burned itself out on Wednesday.

“We couldn’t put it out completely because there were no access routes. So what we did was to make it did not get to the house and then we kept monitoring it throughout the day on Tuesday to see if it would move near some where we could access and then put it out. On Wednesday morning when we went back we saw that it had burned itself out,” Pauletta said.

The fire on Madrid Drive was called in around 6:00 p.m. and the officers were able to put it out quickly and prevent it from spreading.


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