Wed | Dec 7, 2016

When will the Riverton fire be extinguished? ODPEM heads give conflicting deadlines

Published:Thursday | March 19, 2015 | 2:10 PMJovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
Fire at the Riverton City disposal site.

Conflicting information is coming from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) about when the fire at the Riverton City dump in Kingston will be extinguished.

The fire which has been burning since last Wednesday is a national emergency and ODPEM is leading the response.

At a press conference on Monday, Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Errol Mowatt said the fire could by extinguished this weekend.

And yesterday, in an interview with The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre, ODPEM’s director general, Major Clive Davis, declared all was on track to have the blaze extinguished by that deadline.

 

ODPEM Director General, Major Clive Davis.

However, speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106FM, this morning, senior director at ODPEM, Horace Glaze, insisted that the fire will continue to burn beyond this weekend.

According to him, only the smoke conditions will improve.

 

Senior director, preparedness and emergency operations at ODPEM, Horace Glaze.

The apparent confusion over when the fire will be extinguished comes as more businesses and schools have to suspend operations over the effect of the smoke from the dump.

More than 800 people have had to seek medical attention since the blaze began last Wednesday.

And now health workers have expressed concerns about the potential long-term effects.

There has also been no publication of the latest results from air quality tests.

Yesterday, the board of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) which manages the dump, decided not to renew Jennifer Edwards’ contract as executive director.