Wednesday 28 October, 2020

St Lucia Fire Service warns against unauthorized burning

Chief Fire Officer, Joseph Joseph

Chief Fire Officer, Joseph Joseph

The Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) once again is warning the general public against indiscriminate and unauthorized burning.

The call follows a series of bush fires in Soufriere on Thursday, May 28, 2020, which posed a threat to residents' health as well as a threat to Ladera Resort.

"The Fire Service once again wishes to advise members of the public to desist from setting fires as a means of garbage disposal, clearing of land or otherwise, particularly in residential areas," Chief Fire Officer, Joseph Joseph, declared.

According to Joseph, this has been a problem faced by the Fire Department for years and considering the island is experiencing an extremely dry period, there is a heightened risk not just for firefighters but for the citizens as well.

"Our department will not endorse any application for controlled burning at this time and for as long as the extremely dry conditions persist. Once set alight, these fires can quickly get out of control and cause great destruction and even death."

Apart from the harmful effects to life and property, it is an offence to set fires within two miles of a town or settlement without notice and permission.

This is in accordance with the Saint Lucia Criminal Code sections 449 & 450, and in particular, section 450 (b) which states:

"A person who — at any time, within two miles of any city or town or village or settlement, sets fire or causes fire to be set without having given notice and first obtained permission under section 449, and whether or not the fire causes damage or injury to the property of another person; is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1,000."

"We, therefore, implore members of the public to exercise good judgment and consideration for your safety and that of others by complying with the law as highlighted," Joseph said.

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