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Black River mayor warns against lighting fires

Published:Wednesday | February 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth:

Mayor of Black River, Jeremy Palmer, has appealed to persons in St Elizabeth to desist from the needless lighting of outdoor fires, as it was straining the resources of the fire brigade in the parish.

Speaking to journalists after the monthly meeting of the council last Thursday, the mayor called for a more robust public education programme to save properties from destruction.

"In this drought, I sense that people set fire to things that they don't need. People like to burn garbage, they are clearing a piece of land and there is no need to light a fire, because the bush and the land are not that thick. But they just like to set fires," he said.

Palmer, who chairs the St Elizabeth council, made the comment against the background of a report by the parish's fire department that it had to respond to 171 fires in the month of January, several being bush fires.

The report stated that the fire brigade was able to save properties valued at more than $90 million. It also stated that the department recently acquired a tender with a capacity for 20,000 litres of water to fight fires.