Thursday, April 18, 2024

Fire is not the answer to cow itch and rodents


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Members of the public are being urged not to light fires to eradicate cow itch or rodents, but contact the relevant agencies for assistance.

This is coming from Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams, who said the Barbados Fire Service was inundated last Friday as various crews battled ten fires, a record number, across the island.

Abrahams said the Ministry of Health, the district polyclinic or even the fire department could assist with these problems.

“We were very, very lucky last Friday because the sheer volume of fire and smoke was more than the Barbados Fire Service could handle. It was too much,” Abrahams said Sunday night while addressing his Christ Church East constituency branch meeting at St Christopher Primary School.

“Six schools had to shut. The smoke from St Philip went as far down as Bridgetown.”

He said not only did the smoke cause health concerns for those with asthma and other respiratory conditions, sinusitis and even vision, there was also the potential hazard to property.

“We were lucky ‘cause one derelict house burned; one derelict house,” Abrahams said.

“A fire can get out of control. If you have problems with cow itch in your area,” he said emphasising the point with his right index finger from the podium, “please contact the Ministry of Health or the polyclinic or even the Barbados Fire Service and give them the information and we will try to have that dealt with.

“Do not set fires that you cannot possibly control when they get out of hand. If you drive along the Highway, you will see the fires burnt around houses. Some people were real lucky, but quite equally, a lot of them places coulda burn.”

Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard said their resources were stretched. With the exception of the Airport station, crews from Bridgetown, Arch Hall, St John and Worthing were pressed into action.

The fires included a number of tyres and acres of grass burning at Bushy Park, St Philip; grass at Callenders, Christ Church, and a derelict house in Golden Grove, St Philip. There were also blazes at Bannantyne, Christ Church, and in parts of St Michael, St John and St George.

St George Secondary, St George Primary School, Ellerton Primary School, Workman’s Primary School and Deighton Griffith Secondary all had to close after being affected by smoke.  (SAT)



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