Parts of southern Port of Spain were blanketed with heavy smoke yesterday morning as a small fire raged in the Beetham Landfill, affecting commuters and workers in the capital city for much of the day.
According to a media release from the T&T Solid Waste Management Company (SWMCOL), the fire was first observed about 9 a.m. at a remote location on the western side of the landfill. The Fire Services were alerted and a series of appliances were sent to contain the blaze.
Due to the swift work of the fire officials, and staff at the landfill, the fire was contained to the area it was first observed. The immediate cause of the fire is unknown.
However, the thick smoke as a result of the blaze settled over the capital city for several hours, and was even addressed in the release.
“The public is advised that smoke will continue to be visible through much of the day. Current wind conditions however, are favourable and we do not expect there to be any disruptions to activities in downtown Port of Spain and environs,” the release read.
The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) was also notified of the fire and an emergency response team was dispatched to investigate the incident.
The EMA officials also conducted air quality monitoring within the area as well as air quality tests at Success Laventille Secondary School, the NP House Car Park and downtown Port of Spain.
“Fluctuating changes in the wind direction impacted on the stream of smoke within the area. Notwithstanding this, preliminary reports indicate that the air quality is at an acceptable standard. The EMA will continue its air quality monitoring throughout the day and notify the public of any changes,” a release from the EMA read.