Kalkara Rubbish Dump Fire – August 2012

August 3, 2012 in Fire

Following a fun and informative fire awareness session with the Attard Scout Group at Rinella, as well as a USAR K9 demonstration (  Read Article  ), the EFRU team was about to pack up and head back to HQ. However a thick plume of black smoke was seen rising into the evening sky, close by. Since the team had a full fire engine ready at hand, Team Leader and Operations Manager Sandro Camilleri therefore took the decision to head to the area to check whether assistance was required. Mobile Police Squad officers close to the area accompanied the EFRU fire engine to the exact location of the fire, where a CPD fire engine was already fighting the fire. The EFRU team set up the equipment, put on the fire suite, boots, helmet and gloves and set to work.

Rubbish fires are notorious for generating a lot of heat at their core and it is not enough to put out the visible flames on top. Water has to continue being pumped to cool down the hot spots at the centre that may re-ignite the dump if left unattended. Infact, the water capacity of 3 fire engines was not enough, and like the others, the EFRU fire engine had to go to Kordin fire station to be re-filled and then drive back to continue putting out the fire. It wasn’t before 11 p.m. that the operation concluded, when EFRU were given the stand down by the CPD, and headed back towards HQ. It was another great experience for the whole team but especially to volunteer Christine Grech Sillato, who had her first experience of fire fighting operation. Well done Christine!

EFRU would like to take the opportunity to ask the general public to be responsible and to refrain from dumping rubbish other than in controlled waste sites. Apart from creating an eyesore and producing unpleasant smells for whoever lives or works close by, illegal dump sites create a hazard by attracting pests and especially in the event that the dump catches fire, as was the case today.

Joe Bonnici
EFRU Volunteer and K9 Handler