Update: 12:25pm 24 May: Crews from the Cayman Islands Fire Service and the Department of Environmental Health are expected to continue working throughout Sunday to fully extinguish a deep vein of burning waste material at the George Town landfill, a Government Information Services statement said.

Crews maintained a watching brief overnight.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker commended the crews for their persistence in dealing with the fire.

“This deep vein of fire is requiring a significant volume of mixed waste to be excavated, turned over and dampened down. Our joint crews are working hard to prevent the chance of re-ignition through their painstaking efforts,” he said.

Limited smoke from this fire is expected Sunday, the statement said, as excavation and damping-down operations continue.

No impact on surrounding residents or businesses is expected.

Update: 4:28pm 23 May: Fire Service and Department of Environmental Health crews continued excavating and dampening-down work to bring what they called a “small but challenging fire to an end” at the George Town landfill on Saturday.

According to a statement earlier in the day the Fire Service said a deep-seated vein of burning waste at the landfill was causing minimal smoke at the scene with no impact to surrounding residents and businesses.

Both the Fire Service and DEH crews excavated and dampened down the affected area throughout the day.
Another update on the landfill fire is expected Sunday (24 May) morning.

Update: 10am, 22 May: Fire Service crews returned to the George Town landfill around 7:15am this morning as smoke was seen rising from the same area where a small fire had broken out earlier this week, according to a government press release.

“No flames but some smoke is visible … The area was seen to be smouldering during morning inspections by the Department of Environmental Health,” the release stated.

Chief Fire Office Paul Walker said, “It is not unusual to have a vein of deep-seated fire between compacted layers smoulder and re-emerge. This is precisely why we keep equipment on site in the days after a landfill incident to allow us to quickly deploy.”

The release said DEH and fire crews would continue work to excavate and dampen down the affected area.

Earlier update: 20 May: A small fire discovered at the George Town landfill Wednesday (20 May) appears to be extinguished, according to Government Information Services.

Fire Service said crews maintained a “watching brief” overnight at the landfill site.

“Crews from CIFS and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) worked quickly to excavate and dampen down the affected area yesterday to resolve the incident,” according to a GIS statement.

The Fire Service handed the site back to DEH Thursday morning.

“The duty crew from Central Fire Station will make periodic checks throughout today [Thursday] for reassurance,” the statement added.

This is the second fire that has ignited at the dump this month.

In March, a blaze believed to be among the biggest to burn at the dump forced evacuations and closed sections of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

Original story: Cayman Islands Fire Service and Department of Environmental Health crews are working to excavate and damp down the site of what they called a small fire at the George Town landfill Wednesday morning.

In a brief statement, Government Information Services said fire officials reported that they brought the fire under control.

Fire and DEH crews are working with the aim of fully extinguishing the fire and to “minimize risk of reignition”.

This is the second fire that has ignited at the dump this month.

On May 8, a “deep-seated” fire started burning at the George Town landfill. Witnesses reported what appeared to be smoke billowing from the site.

Two days later, the Fire Service reported that no smoke or fire remained at the site after crew excavated and dampened the affected area.

fire at the landfill earlier this year forced the evacuation of nearby residents and closed main thoroughfares.

Last week, the Dart-led consortium began remediation work at the dump with an initial ‘test pad’ identified on top of the landfill’s main mound, which stands more than 90 feet above sea level. The consortium was named the successful bidder of a 2017 government tender to design, build and operate various components of the waste-management system.

The Compass will continue to monitor this latest fire and update this story as more information becomes available.

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