The Cayman Islands Fire Service’s investigation into the large brushfire near Windsor Park that burned for several hours on Friday, 5 March, was “inconclusive, given the scale and nature” of the blaze.
Although no official cause of the fire has been found, according to a statement from the Fire Service today, fire officers believe the most likely cause of ignition was either a bonfire that spread out of control or that had embers flying from it; or children or others “playing or experimenting with fire that got out of control”.
The fire, which started around 3pm, led to the evacuation of the University College of the Cayman Islands and the nearby Truman Bodden Sports Complex, where the inter-secondary athletics competition was taking place at the time.
Although homes in the area were not evacuated, as heavy smoke blanketed the area, residents were advised to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.
The fire was brought under control on Friday night, but was not fully extinguished until the next morning. Fire fighters remained at the scene overnight to monitor the situation.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Roy Charlton said in a statement to the Cayman Compass, “It is important people remember our safety tips for burning heaps and abide by Department of Environmental Health guidelines for bonfires. I would also encourage children or persons not to experiment with fire in any circumstances.
“Residents across the Cayman Islands are encouraged to dial 911 as soon as possible to report any fire they feel may spread or get out of control to enable CIFS to make a timely response and intervention.”