Portland firefighters on alert
Port Antonio, Portland:
Firefighters in Portland have been kept busy as a result of frequent bush-fires in farming communities, amid the shortage of water caused by the drought and ongoing water lock-offs.
With two fire trucks for the rural parish, covering a distance of approximately 56 miles from West Portland (Windsor) to Hector's River in East Portland, the improbable task of extinguishing fires oftentimes have both fire teams stretched to their limit.
A senior source at the Port Antonio Fire Station, who asked not to be named, pointed out that since the start of May, at least four trips have been made to the community of Stony Hill to extinguish bush fire.
According to the source, the public education and efforts to sensitise residents (farmers) in that community, not to engage in the
lighting of farm lands, especially during the dry season, has fallen on deaf ears.
"There is little or no water available," commented the firefighter. "Nevertheless, we have to respond to those calls, as an immediate response will minimise the likelihood of any major damage to property or livestock. We have been coping well so far, and we have a competent team of firefighters across the parish. One of the challenges that we face, however, is the ongoing water lock-offs to accommodate new installation of pipe lines," the source added.