Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Let's fight fire with fire

Published:Tuesday | May 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I have not kept abreast of firefighting techniques in Jamaica or globally, or the response that has been mooted towards the spate of fires sections of the country seem to be experiencing. I only know of one other means of fighting a fire of this nature - water aside - and that is using sand or like material.

Given the overwhelming heat that the fire service faces, I have a second and simple suggestion - in the event that there has been no concerted effort to attempt such. I remember reading stories of 'cowboys versus Indians' in the Wild, Wild, West, where the latter would many times attack the whites by burning their property. As a proactive measure, some whites would burn the vegetation surrounding their property.

The logic should be obvious; what has been burnt can hardly be burnt again. In so doing, the fire, while posing a danger otherwise, would not extend beyond the limits of the burnt area(s).

I am not suggesting that persons engage in a wholesale burning of areas, but that property owners, in liaison with the experts from the fire service, consider the possibility of controlled burning of areas surrounding buildings, etc., where applicable, so as to alleviate the danger of the fire being out of control by the time it reaches the property zone.

In the event that the above suggestion is deemed not unfeasible, I do hope those who do not wish to use fire to fight fire will have water. If not, I hope they will have enough hands to use the sand.


Sandy Bay, Clarendon