January 7, 2005
For immediate release
Departments Provide Update on Fire in Hazelbrook
Health and Social Services
The Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry delivered a letter to Maintenance Services Limited this morning, requiring the company to immediately arrange for an expert in underground fires to supervise the fire fighting efforts until the fire is extinguished. The company is also required to provide daily status reports to the department.
If there is evidence of fire or smoldering on Monday, January 10, or at a future date, Maintenance Services Limited will be required to hire a qualified consultant to perform air quality monitoring at the site to address the public health concerns related to the smoke.
The Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry was advised of the fire at the construction and demolition site in Hazelbrook December 21. The fire appeared to be contained at that time, however it moved underground. While there was considerable smoke at the site earlier this week, the situation improved by late Thursday afternoon. With advice from fire officials on how to keep the fire from smoldering, the site operator continues to expose and extinguish hot spots.
The Department of Health and Social Services has received calls from residents of Hazelbrook asking what precautions should be taken if the odour of smoke is detected in the area of their homes. In general, when smoke is present in residential areas, the following precautions are recommended: Children should not play outside; Persons with asthma or other lung disorders should avoid going outside; Joggers should avoid running in area where smoke is present; Homeowners should turn off any ventilation equipment which brings the odour of smoke into a house.
Most of the smoke from the fire at the construction and demolition disposal site at Hazelbrook appears to come from burning wood. However, some residents have detected the odour of burning plastics, and this smoke should be avoided by following the precautions recommended for any situation in which smoke is detected.