Firefighters say they cautioned a Marigot woman who started burning rubbish on Monday morning, but the fire got out of hand, prompting emergency calls to the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS).
Reports indicate that about 10:15 am, the SLFS received a call requesting assistance to extinguish an out-of-control bush fire but later got another call suggesting that it was a house fire.
However, when emergency personnel from the SLFS Headquarters in Castries arrived aboard a fire truck, they found it was a fire that had started among rubbish and tyres and quickly put out the blaze, video recordings of which appeared on social media.
Afterward, they cautioned the woman who started the fire and advised her on the proper procedure to prevent a recurrence.
The SLFS says in addition to creating a hazard and impacting the health of persons with respiratory complaints, bush fires tax the organisation’s resources.
A fire service official acknowledged that there are instances where controlled burning has to take place but disclosed that firefighters supervise those fires.
The Saint Lucia Criminal Code 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.”