STX Landfill Fire Prompts Warning to Downwind Residents

Smoke from a March fire at the Anguilla Landfill caused a smokey day on St Croix. Another fire broke out at the landfill Sunday. (Susan Ellis photo)
Smoke from a March fire at the Anguilla Landfill caused a smokey day on St Croix. Another fire broke out at the landfill Sunday. (Susan Ellis photo)

St. Croix residents living to the west of the Anguilla Landfill were warned Monday evening to take health precautions after a fire broke out Sunday afternoon at the landfill.

According to the V.I. Waste Management Authority, the fire started around 3 p.m. Sunday. The fire reportedly originated in the mulch section at the landfill entrance.

Dawn L. Henry, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, warned the community downwind, to the west of the landfill as of Monday evening, to take precautionary measures, especially the elderly, children, and people with respiratory ailments, allergies and compromised immune systems.

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Since the fire initially erupted, Waste Management and the Virgin Islands Fire Service have worked together to contain it.

The Anguilla landfill has been the scene of many blazes, the most recent in September.

The Air Quality Management Program of the Division of Environmental Protection will continue to monitor the situation and advise the public of any changes, Henry’s news release said.

The St. Croix Transfer Station and Anguilla Landfill were closed Sunday and remained closed Monday due to heavy smoke caused by the fire that started in the mulch pile at the entrance of the facility. VIWMA asked residents to hold bulky waste at home; the public and all haulers were asked to hold waste until normal operating hours resume.

As of Monday night there was no word from the agency on when the landfill might be reopened.

Additional information is available by calling the Air Quality Management Program at 340-773-1082.

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