Trash fire in Inayawan
Thick black smoke covered part of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill early morning yesterday when a fire broke out on garbage piles left bone dry by the summer heat.
Firefighters had to connect hoses to reach the affected site, about 3,000 to 4,000 square meters in the middle of the landfill.
Fire outbreaks caused by spontaneous combustion of methane gas and extra-dry conditions are not unusual in the landfill. But it also could have been triggered by a discarded cigarette butt.
“We want to know why the fire was in the center. What caused it? It may be due to the very hot weather. Broken glass was found there and may have magnified rays of the sun but the fire happened at dawn,” said Councilor Dave Tumulak.
The fire was reported at 4 a.m. and placed under control after five hours.
“It took long to put out because the firefighters were conscious of not bombing too much water on the fire since it may affect the pile of trash,” said Tumulak.
Tumulak said he will ask the City Council on Monday to declare a state of calamity in the landfill.
He said the methane gas level should also be assessed by the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The smoke reached homes in neighboring barangays of Cogon Pardo and Poblacion Pardo, he said.
Worried about the fire rekindling, a flood pressure pump was placed at the back of the landfill near the sea.
The landfill was closed in mid-January and 70 families living there were persuaded by City Hall to move out last week to avoid the risk of a trash slide after some boulders were removed at the base of the mountains of trash.
After Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama visited the site yesterday morning, he held an emergency meeting with department heads.
He tasked a group led by OIC city engineer Jose Marie Poblete and Engr. Ricky Dakay to start “interventions” to prevent the recurrence of fires.
“There is a state of calamity for the whole landfill. We don’t know what’s brewing inside,” Rama said.
He was relieved though that no one lived closed to the fire site.
He said he made the right decision after all in asking families there to vacate the landfill.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.